Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to have Owen Hargreaves available for selection in three weeks' time.
The England international has not played for Manchester United for over a year having had operations on both knees to cure ongoing tendinitis problems.
The 28-year-old underwent rehabilitation in America before returning to United last month to complete preparations for his comeback.
Ferguson admits that the club will be overly cautious with the midfielder due to the length of time he has been absent.
"Owen's doing a lot of good work now and we're pleased with that," he said.
"As I said when he came back to Manchester, it's not something we need to rush. Because he's been out for a year, we monitor it a bit more closely.
"But he's giving us good signs and he should be back at the first-team level three weeks from now, easily."
Meanwhile defender Jonny Evans should shake off an ankle problem which forced him to withdraw from the Northern Ireland squad earlier this week in time to face Bolton on Saturday.
The 21-year-old will most likely have to make do with a place on the bench with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic starting at the back and the centre-half reveals that the team are desperate to put the poor performance in the 2-2 draw against Sunderland last time out behind them.
"I thought Sunderland did really well and deserved to come out of the game with something," he told United Review.
"We didn't really apply ourselves the way we can, especially at home, so we were disappointed with that.
"But we took a point out of the game, which probably wasn't a bad result given the way we played.
"The international break has meant we've been away from each other for a while.
"But we've all been looking forward to the chance to get out there against Bolton, get three points, and get back to the kind of form we were in before the Sunderland game."