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By ESPN Staff

Young on course for timely comeback

Luke Young could return to action for Charlton against Manchester United on the final day of the Barclays Premiership season - just in time to prove his fitness for the England World Cup squad.

The Addicks captain is continuing his rehabilitation from the ankle injury suffered against West Ham at the start of April.

If all goes well, the 26-year-old right-back is expected to feature at Old Trafford - a match which comes just 24 hours before England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson names his provisional 27-man party for Germany.

Young has been capped seven times since being called up for last summer's tour to the United States following an injury to Gary Neville, and will be desperate to make the final 23-man England squad which has to be submitted to FIFA on May 15.

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley revealed: 'Luke has started light training.

'He has done a bit of jogging and he may get back for the Manchester United game on the last day of the season.'

The Addicks were thumped 4-1 at Bolton last weekend, but they remain in good form at The Valley, where they are unbeaten since Boxing Day and play host to Blackburn for Saturday's late kick-off.

Curbishley, though, must do without striker Marcus Bent, who will sit out the final two matches of the Barclays Premiership campaign because of a hamstring problem which is also causing him back pain.

'Marcus has not been right since he signed in January,' said Curbishley of the former Everton man.

'So we will shut him down and make sure he gets himself fit for next season.'

Meanwhile, on-loan defender Jonathan Spector is set to return to Manchester for surgery on his dislocated shoulder.

Curbishley will first let the young American, 20, recuperate before considering whether to try to make a permanent move for him from Manchester United.

The Charlton boss said: 'He is their player and they will take care of the operation.

'We will then have to see what happens after he has had the surgery.'