Manchester United manager David Moyes has hinted that Nemanja Vidic and Robin van Persie could return against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend after being omitted from the Champions League tie at Bayer Leverkusen.
Captain Vidic is still recovering from a concussion suffered in the Premier League win over Arsenal while Van Persie has a groin problem and both players are absent for the European trip to Leverkusen in which United need just a win to secure qualification for the knock-out phase.
United travel to Tottenham this Sunday in a crucial Premier League encounter and Moyes has said that despite the duo being left out against Leverkusen, an imminent return is on the cards.
"Both are injured," Moyes said. "You knew Vidic had concussion, but we don't think van Persie is quite ready yet.
"We're going to keep monitoring him. He had a bit of a problem with his groin. Neither are long term, but with the concussion we just want to give it a bit longer."
Both Phil Jones and Shinji Kagawa are expected to return for United for the clash at the BayArena after missing the draw with Cardiff City but midfield pair Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini are out.
Carrick will not return until after Christmas due to an achilles problem and Fellaini is serving a one-match suspension after being sent off in the previous game against Real Sociedad.
"We have a suspension to Fellaini from the last game and an injury to Michael Carrick," added Moyes.
"That is normal at big clubs. You do get injuries with the amount of games we have got. We have a squad which we will be able to use and show what they can do."
A win for United would see them secure a last 16 place in the Champions League, but anything less would leave their future participation in the competition hanging by a thread going into the final group game against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Moyes started the season with questions over his shallow European experience but securing a knock-out place in his maiden season at United would go a long way to silencing his critics.