Sir Alex Ferguson insists Nemanja Vidic remains on course to return to action next season and will not rush the Manchester United captain back before the end of the current campaign.
Vidic suffered a serious knee injury during the Red Devils' UEFA Champions League defeat by Basel in December and was ruled out for the rest of the season.
However, recent reports have suggested that the 30-year-old could make a speedy comeback to be involved in United's Premier League title run-in.
Ferguson, though, sees no point in bringing Vidic back this term and expects the Serbian to be fit for the start of the 2012/13 campaign.
"I think he's on schedule really," said Ferguson. "It'll be the beginning of the season.
"It won't be any sooner - I can assure you of that. There's no point trying to rush him for the end of the season, it's just not possible.
"So it means we'll have him at the beginning of next season, giving him a full recovery as that will be something like eight months.
"I'm not sure about [going on] the tour. It may be possible. That will be a target, I suppose, but we want him in training when we start [pre-season] training."