Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that defender Chris Smalling could make a comeback against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.
The centre-back has been out since last season with a broken foot but, having now returned to training, he could feature against the Magpies at St James' Park.
However, two other United central defenders, Nemanja Vidic and Phil Jones, will remain on the sidelines with knee injuries, along with wingers Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young.
"Smalling has a chance to come back - Jones and Vidic, obviously not," said Ferguson.
"Ashley Young will start training while the internationals are on, particularly in the second week.
"At a stretch he could maybe make the game against Stoke but, certainly Smalling, he will have done enough training on the football side.
"Particularly as we have had a problem with centre-backs, that is a blessing for us."