Darren Fletcher is on the verge of making his Manchester United comeback after 10 months on the sidelines after being named on the squad for Saturday's home match against Wigan.
Fletcher, 28, has not played for the first team since last November's draw with Benfica, after being struck with a chronic bowel problem.
The Scotland international has made three appearances for United's reserve team, including Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to Stalybridge, in his bid to regain match fitness.
However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said he is unlikely to feature in this weekend's game but is there to boost his confidence in making a full comeback from the illness.
"The next step is when we can involve him in a game in the first team," Ferguson said. "He's in the squad, simply because I think it will give him a boost. It's a chance to progress.
"At this moment in time everything's going fine for him. We understand the condition he has to deal with -- that can change but hopefully he's managed to conquer it in terms of his diet and how he handles it. Things are going well at the moment."
Ferguson is eyeing Manchester United's League Cup tie with Newcastle on Sept. 26 as Darren Fletcher's comeback game.
"I am looking at the Newcastle cup tie as a starting point for him because we alter the make-up of the side for these games."
Fletcher was first troubled by the stomach complaint during the 2010-11 season and was limited to just ten appearances for his club last season.
Information from Press Association was used in this report.