Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo looks to be making good progress in his recovery from a serious injury after being pictured back on the training pitch on Tuesday (22 August).
The versatile Argentine defender underwent surgery back in May after being stretchered out of the first half of a Europa League quarter-final second-leg victory over Anderlecht with a ruptured cruciate ligament in his left knee. Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered his own significant knee ligament damage later in the same match.
Like fellow long-term casualties Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, Rojo attended the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm on crutches and subsequently joined his United teammates on their pre-season tour of the United States to continue his rehabilitation across the Atlantic.
But while that aforementioned duo were always slated to return early in the 2017-18 campaign and each featured for just under an hour of an Under-23 draw with Swansea City at Leigh Sports Village on Monday night, manager Jose Mourinho previously predicted that Rojo might not play again this year.
"Luke Shaw is the first one to recover, Marcos will be last and Ash will be in between. Luke is September, Young is October and Rojo is December, or maybe January," he said before the opening weekend of the season.
Such a timescale may have precluded him from joining in with training for some time, so supporters will be have been tentatively encouraged to see Rojo snapped alongside Ander Herrera in a series of pictures captioned "Who do we have here...?"
While Rojo is still unlikely to make his comeback in the near future, Shaw, who sustained ligament damage in his left foot during a 1-1 draw with Swansea in April, is chomping at the bit to return to first-team action as soon as possible. This seems likely to be a potentially defining season for the 22-year-old in terms of his United career following rumours that he could leave amid a fractious relationship with Mourinho.
"I'm feeling really good and I only push on from here," Shaw told MUTV after his Premier League 2 outing for Ricky Sbragia's youngsters. "I'm looking for the first-team spot now, I'm going to keep pushing, and when the manager needs me I'm going to be ready. Whenever that is, I'm really looking forward to it. I'd rather it was sooner rather than later, but I'm feeling good and whenever I'm called upon, I'm ready.
"I was very happy to get an hour tonight - it was very important for me and for Ashley to get the minutes after the rehab we've had. It was a very positive 60 minutes - me and Ash both feel good. I feel very good and hopefully I can push on now, keep myself fit and get stronger and stronger."