SAF: Cleverley comeback close

SAF: Cleverley comeback close

Published Jan. 20, 2012 1:15 p.m. ET

The midfielder was one of the major influences behind United's flying start to the season, which earned him England call-ups for the postponed August friendly against Holland and the Euro 2012 qualifiers with Bulgaria and Wales.

Yet, almost immediately, injury intervened.

First the 22-year-old suffered a foot problem during the September win at Bolton, then, on his Premier League reappearance at Everton, Cleverley sustained a blow to his ankle and has been sidelined ever since.

However, Ferguson confirmed he is back on the comeback trail and should be able to play a part in football training within 10 days.


And, if all goes to plan, Cleverley could be fit for match action within a week, which would put him on target to face Liverpool.

"I am hopeful in 10 days' time he will be playing football on the training side of it anyway. That is the plan unless there is any recurrence of the injury," Ferguson said.

"Then we can kick on.

"When he plays properly depends how he does in the training.

"His fitness levels should be fine, so he could cope right away.

"If he can, you are talking about a week."

And that, coming in the middle of a crucial period when United face a succession of top six contenders, could provide the Red Devils with a significant lift.

"It would be a great boost to us," said Ferguson.

"The way that Tom started the season was absolutely phenomenal.

"I have not seen a young player have that impact at our club for a long time.

"He has been a loss because he has something different from everyone else."