Manchester United defender Rafael is nearing a first team comeback after recovering from a shoulder injury.
The versatile Brazilian has been out after dislocating his shoulder in training in August, but may feature in United’s reserve match with Everton on Thursday.
The right-back’s only showing so far this campaign came in the Community Shield victory over Manchester City, after he made 28 appearances in all competitions last season.
United have moved Chris Smalling across from his preferred position in the centre of defence to the right in recent weeks, but the England international has recently suffered a broken toe and will be out for up to a month, allowing a passage back into first-team action for the 21-year-old Rafael.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson told the club’s official website: “Rafael has been training for over a week.”
“It was a big operation on his shoulder and we hope we can maybe fit a game in for him, maybe the next reserve game.”
“He’s coming along fine, there has been no setback and he has been training every day.”