Rafael
Rafael has missed United's last four matches with an unconfirmed muscle injury.Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths

Manchester United have been handed a massive boost after their defender Rafael Da Silva confirmed he will return to full training.

The Brazilian last featured for the Red Devils in their 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Old Trafford in October. Prior to the Manchester derby against Manchester City, the right-back picked up an injury during the training session.

Rafael has been on the sidelines and has missed United's clash against City, Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Hull City. Louis van Gaal's side will face Stoke City on Tuesday night and it is unlikely that the defender will return to the team in the next game.

"Very good match well done boys . Back training normal tomorrow ready to help. Very happy @manchesterunited," Rafael posted on Instagram.

In Rafael's absence, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss fielded Antonio Valencia in the right-back position and played him as a wing-back against Arsenal. United have players like Chris Smalling and Phil Jones who can play in that position.

However, Jones has been out of action after picking up an injury before the Chelsea match last month. The England international is still recovering, while Jonny Evans returned to action last week as he featured in United U21match last week.

In the absence of Jones and Evans, Smalling was starting in his preferred position as a centre-back. With several injury concerns for Van Gaal, the return of Rafael should give him a massive boost, especially after Marcos Rojo started for United against Hull on Saturday.

It is unlikely that the Brazilian right-back will be in contention for the Stoke clash. However, Rafael could make a return when United face Southampton on 8 December at St Mary's Stadium.

Meanwhile, Angel Di Maria became the latest player to join the injury list and the former Real Madrid star will miss the Stoke fixture on Tuesday. The Argentine international now joins Jones, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw on the treatment table at Old Trafford.