It seems the day that some Manchester United fans thought would never arrive is now nearly upon us. According to the club’s official website, Owen Hargreaves has returned to first-team training. Admittedly, with all the false hope we’ve endured in regards to Hargreaves’ return, it’s hard to get too excited about this bit of news. Nevertheless, it does seem promising and it’s hard not to get excited. Sir Alex Ferguson has even admitted that there is still some worrying of a possible relapse.
Hargreaves has been sidelined since September 2008, with the exception of a 30-second cameo at the end of last season, but it appears he could make a return to competition relatively soon. The gaffer admits that if he continues to train at the level he showed yesterday, then Hargreaves will inevitably give him a selection headache in midfield. While Hargreaves is available for all domestic competitions, he will be unavailable to the club in the Champions League until the January transfer window.
Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick has also returned to training following some issues with his Achilles. Carrick struggled for minutes this season prior to the injury, and he will surely be raring to get back on the pitch and prove himself after a dip in form last season. The return of these two will certainly come as a boost to the squad, which has been relying heavily on Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher in the centre of midfield.
Ultimately, I just hope this proves not to be another comeback that never was. Hargreaves has seemed to be on the brink of a return many times over last two years, even to the point of teasing us with a 30 second appearance in last season’s penultimate match. Hargreaves has been one of my favorites since we signed him, and he has been sorely missed. In my eyes, he was key to our success in the 2007/08 season. Hopefully, his knee problems are now a thing of the past and he can’t get back to playing football. I can’t wait to hear the applause when he makes his return at Old Trafford.
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