Jonny Evans has handed Sir Alex Ferguson a much-needed boost ahead of the start of the season by returning to training.
The Northern Ireland international had an operation on an ankle injury over the summer that ruled him out of the last three games of the season.
But Evans has recovered well enough to start running again and United's assistant manager Mike Phelan is confident he will be fit to face Everton on 20th August.
Fears still remain over Chris Smalling, though, after the defender had surgery of his own on a broken foot.
"Jonny Evans will hopefully be available when we get back," said Phelan. "He's back doing light work on the training ground. We hope he'll be available for the start of the season.
"He won't have had the games under the belt but, if he's fit and progressing well, we'll push him forward.
"At the moment, Chris Smalling is going to be a bit longer in his recovery. He's had a setback, an injury, and he's progressing slowly."