Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is set to return from the knee injury that wrecked his World Cup in a reserve team game against Oldham on Wednesday.
Ferdinand has been out of action since damaging knee ligaments in a collision with Emile Heskey while training with England in the build-up to the World Cup in June.
The 31-year-old was due to captain England at the finals in South Africa, but instead had to fly home to start his rehabilitation.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently suggested Ferdinand would be sidelined until the end of September, but the former West Ham and Leeds star has made a quicker than expected recovery and should feature in a Manchester Senior Cup at Stalybridge.
If Ferdinand has no negative reaction after his appearance in the reserve clash, the centre-back could be in contention for a return to the first-team at Everton on September 11.
Ferdinand will be joined in the United line-up against Oldham by England defender Wes Brown, Brazilian midfielder Anderson, who is also on his way back from long-term injury, and Italian striker Federico Macheda.
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