Manchester: Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is on course to return from his long injury lay-off in time to face Liverpool on February 11, according to United coach Sir Alex Ferguson.
Cleverley was a key figure as United made an impressive start to the season and England coach Fabio Capello handed him a call-up for the postponed August friendly with the Netherlands and subsequent Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales.
However, the 22-year-old has struggled with injuries since then. He sustained a foot problem during United's win at Bolton Wanderers in September and then an ankle injury against Everton and has been sidelined ever since.
In his absence, United have often looked short of quality in midfield and Ferguson was forced to bring Paul Scholes out of retirement to fill the void.
Cleverley is finally close to a return though and Ferguson confirmed he should be able to train within 10 days - giving him a chance of featuring in United's Premier League game against old rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
"I am hopeful in 10 days' time he will be playing football, on the training side of it anyway," Ferguson said.
"That is the plan unless there is any recurrence of the injury. Then we can kick on. When he plays properly depends how he does in the training."
"His fitness levels should be fine, so he could cope right away. If he can, you are talking about a week."
Ferguson admits it would be a major bonus to get Cleverley back during a vital run of fixtures against teams at the top end of the table.
"It would be a great boost to us," Ferguson said. "The way that Tom started the season was absolutely phenomenal."
"I have not seen a young player have that impact at our club for a long time. He has been a loss because he has something different from everyone else."