Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson looks set to be handed a major boost amid reports Tom Cleverley could make a long awaited return to full fitness in time for the busy Christmas schedule.
Manchester United have been decimated by injuries over the last few weeks with Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher joining the likes of the Da Silva twins, Anderson, Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov on the sidelines, yet the Manchester Evening News suggests Cleverley is nearing full fitness.
The hugely impressive Manchester United youngster has not played since the 1-0 victory over Everton and Sir Alex Ferguson's side have clearly missed the player's industry and lively invention.
The Manchester Evening News suggests Cleverley could be back for Manchester United's fixtures at the end of the month and in the New Year following his ankle injury which was sustained following a robust challenge from Kevin Davies.
Cleverley's stock has risen with every passing Manchester United game and although it is perhaps unfair on the 22-year-old it is a measure of the former Wigan Athletic loanee's superb start to life as an Old Trafford regular.
The attacking midfielder was the catalyst behind Manchester United's stunning start to the season, proving to be an able replacement for the recently retired Paul Scholes. His form caught the eye of Fabio Capello and although he is yet to make his full international debut, the player will inevitably be in the reckoning for EURO 2012 if he can shake off his injury and recapture his early season form.
Although the aforementioned source intimates Cleverley is on the cusp of a return, the Manchester United youngster recently refused to speculate on his comeback.
"The injury is not bad, I am just working hard with the physios and doing what they tell me at the minute," The Manchester United star told skysports.com at a charity auction for The Christie Charity. "I am just working hard looking after the injury and I am sure we will set targets in a couple of weeks."
Manchester United will hope Cleverley comes through full training in the next week but initial reports suggests the midfielder will be back to help United maintain the pace with Manchester City.