Ron Vlaar
Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar may return to action against Manchester UnitedGetty

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has confirmed Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole have returned to training ahead of the visit to Manchester United on 4 April but is uncertain whether the trio will be 100% fit to play 90 minutes at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, United loanee Tom Cleverley has also overcome the injury he sustained during the previous Premier League game against Swansea City but will miss the game as he is not eligible against his parent club.

After a 1-0 home defeat against Swansea just before the international break, Villa visit manager Louis van Gaal's side while sat 16th in the league, three points off the relegation zone.

Vlaar, Senderos and Cole missed that game due to injuries and even though they have taken advantage of the international break to continue their recoveries, Sherwood claims the game against United may still come too soon for some of them.

"A few of them are medically fit now but physically they are still a little bit behind. It's up to me to decide whether to throw them in at Old Trafford or wait for the games coming up. There are a few more bodies out on the training field that's for sure," the manager said.

"Ron Vlaar is back out there, which is good. Tom Cleverley is back out there, which is a Lazarus moment. Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos are training also.

"We are still struggling with a few. But we hope between now and Tuesday and certainly next Saturday that we get a few more bodies fit. It's about not playing them too early and sending them back to square one again."

With crucial games against Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur coming just after the visit to Old Trafford, Sherwood says he watched the international games with concern regarding the fitness of key players such as Fabian Delph and Colombia international Carlos Sanchez.

He said: "You're holding your breath every time you're watching. You're just praying they are not going to get a knock.

"Carlos Sanchez played two 90 minutes for Colombia. Delphy played in two, Christian played in two. Alan Hutton went down. I thought he wasn't going to get up but thankfully he did do.

"When you're struggling for players - especially in those defensive areas - you're holding your breath that they come back healthy and thankfully they have."