Rafael da Silva and Phil Jones are back in training as Manchester United hope they will have one of their premier right-backs available for Sunday’s derby.
Brazil international Rafael suffered a hamstring injury in the Community Shield win over Wigan on August 11 and was then expected to be out for around a month.
English defender Jones was taken off in the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool with an ankle problem.
But a source close to the club said both have been working at United’s Carrington training ground over the last few days and could be in contention to make a comeback against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
United manager David Moyes has used five players at right-back so far this season, including four in the last three games.
When Jones went off at Anfield, winger Antonio Valencia came on to replace him in the back four.