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By ESPN Staff
Nov 30, 2007

Fergie pledges to treat Saha with kid gloves

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he must tread carefully to ensure Louis Saha gets back to 100% fitness. The French striker has suffered from a series of injury problems since joining the Red Devils from Fulham in January 2004 and played his first 90 minutes for almost a year in the defeat at Bolton last weekend. He managed a further 79 minutes against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League in midweek and Ferguson must now decide whether to keep him in his starting line-up as his old club Fulham visit Old Trafford on Monday night, with Wayne Rooney having been pencilled in for his return from an ankle injury. Ferguson told the club's website: 'Louis' last full game before the match at Bolton was last December. 'So you have to take that into consideration before talking about touch and confidence. 'He needs games, but it's difficult with the situation he is in with injuries. We have to be careful, but he felt great against Sporting and that's encouraging.' Gary Neville did not play for United's reserves in last night's game against Sunderland at Northwich on his comeback from injury. A club spokesperson told manutd.com: 'Gary has been training with the first team and will continue with that as opposed to playing with the reserves.' Neville played 56 minutes for the reserves at the start of the month but has not played for the first team since suffering an ankle ligament injury in last season's Premier League clash with Bolton on March 17. Owen Hargreaves now appears to be back to full fitness following a nagging tendinitis problem, with the England midfielder having featured in five of United's last six games. 'The manager is keeping an eye on me and picking the times that I play,' said Hargreaves. 'I really appreciate that. It is not that I might be tempted to push things too much, more that the manager is a great judge of how players are and how they feel. 'I trust him completely in that respect. He sees everything and makes the right decisions.'