Owen Hargreaves is hoping to play a part in Manchester United’s run in after making his comeback from a long term knee injury in the reserves. The midfielder has not played a first team game for United since September 2008 and has encountered several setbacks en route to a return to action. The England international was originally predicted to be back last autumn, but finally pulled on a United shirt again when playing 45 minutes for the reserves against Burnley last night.
Hargreaves was happy to be back on a pitch again and is optimistic he can build up his fitness in time to play a role in the Red Devils’ quest for Premier League and UEFA Champions League glory.
“I would like to think so, absolutely” Hargreaves admitted when asked if playing first team football before the end of the season is a possibility. “That’s my aim, I’m not coming back just to be back, I want to come back and have just as much of an impact as I did in my first season. It means a lot to me, so those are my targets and it will happen when time’s ready”
“It was lovely to be back in a team environment. It’s been about 16 months, I think, while I’ve been having surgery and individual rehab, so having team-mates around you, getting used to playing on a bigger pitch and having opponents was great. It’s been a very long time and it was great to do that first step. Hopefully I can kick on from here”
The former Bayern Munich star also reiterated his hope that he can be involved in England’s World Cup campaign in South Africa in the summer. “A lot of people talk about it and it’s obviously a topic. We’ll just wait and see, I have to take it day by day.
In a perfect world, obviously I’d love to be a part, but I have to do what’s best for me, best for the club and then England. Obviously it’s something I would like to be able to do and I’ll just see how I progress in the next month”
Many United fans had given up all hope of seeing Hargreaves again this season with even question marks raised about his entire playing future. Being involved with England in the World Cup may be a bridge that’s just a little too far at this stage but playing some role in the final push by United for honours in the last few weeks of the season is well within his capacity.
Do you expect Hargreaves to play a part for United late in the season?