Owen Hargreaves is back in first team training and almost ready for a first team return says Sir Alex Ferguson. It is more than two years since the Canadian-born midfielder last started a game for Manchester United but Ferguson says that his progress has surprised him and that Hargreaves is pushing hard for a return to first team action.
Hargreaves played 45 minutes of a reserve fixture last season before at 30 second first team cameo away at Sunderland. But a serious relapse this summer meant that the former Bayern Munich midfielder did not travel with the United party on the North American tour. Instead, Hargreaves, 29, returned to Dr. Richard Steadman’s renowned Denver clinic more treatment.
“Owen Hargreaves has come back training, he trained yesterday with the first team. He looked very good. I was surprised actually how good he was looking,” said Ferguson told MUTV this morning, with all other press outlets banned from Carrington.
“It’s an extra string to our bow. Bringing him in at this time, after being out for so long, obviously we’ll have to monitor him and see how he’s going to progress in the next few weeks. But it’s good to see him back.
“Because he’s been out for so long you have to see whether there’s going to be a relapse. That’s the first thing on our mind at the moment but having watched him in training yesterday if he continues that way he’s going to give me another selection problem, no question about that.”
Hargreaves last started a game for United against Chelsea on 21 September 2008, after which the midfielder said he couldn’t walk for four days. Although named in Ferguson’s Premier League squad with just 24 senior players included, Hargreaves is not part of United’s Champions League party.