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Man United's Carrick targets return for CSKA match after heart procedure

Craig Burley says the matches preceding the Manchester Derby are key for Man United if they want to challenge City for the title.

MANCHESTER -- Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has undergone a minor heart procedure after making just one appearance this season in the 4-1 Carabao Cup win over Burton Albion in September.

The 36-year-old, who was made club captain in the summer, has revealed he felt "strange" during the second half of the game and was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm.

He said in a statement released on Friday night: "I just want to clear up my situation as I have had quite a few people asking if I'm OK and why I haven't been fit over the last couple of months.

"After feeling strange in the second half of the Burton game in September, I underwent a series of tests.

"It turned out to be due to an irregular heart rhythm which has been fully investigated and I had a procedure called a Cardiac Ablation.

"I had to build up training steadily while being monitored closely but I feel fine now.

"I would like to reassure everyone that I'm healthy and back training hard with the team.

"I'm building up my fitness and aiming to be back in contention for selection soon."

Sources have told ESPN FC Carrick was given an ECG in the dressing room following the Burton game but was deemed well enough to be an unused substitute in the following game at Southampton -- the last time he has been involved in Jose Mourinho's squad.

A Cardiac Ablation is considered a minor procedure to correct the rhythm of the heart.

It is a routine procedure designed to fix abnormal electrical circuits in the heart that cause an irregular beat that can effect an athlete's exercise tolerance.

Carrick has returned to training at Carrington and was involved in sessions with Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo during the international break.

Sources have told ESPN FC he is hoping to make his comeback in United's Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Dec. 5.

Carrick has been a key presence at the centre of United's midfield for over a decade, having joined from Tottenham on an £18 million deal in the summer of 2006.

He has made more than 400 appearances for the Red Devils and his trophy haul includes five Premier League crowns and an FA Cup and Champions League triumph apiece.

After he signed a one-year deal in May to extend his stay at Old Trafford until the end of this campaign, United manager Jose Mourinho labelled the veteran as "one of the true professionals of the game.''

Carrick made 38 appearances including 18 Premier League starts last season and was made club captain over the summer following the departure of Wayne Rooney to Everton.

"We wish Michael well and look forward to seeing him back on the pitch soon,'' the club said.

Information from Press Association Sport was used in this story.

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

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