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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 19, 2008

Hargreaves promises to find full fitness this term

Owen Hargreaves has vowed Manchester United fans will see much better from him after claiming he was never more than 60% fit last season.

The midfielder was plagued by a tendinitis problem last term, an injury which resurfaced at the start of this season.

Armed with the knowledge gained from 12 months ago, United's medical staff feel they have got on top of the injury.

And while Sir Alex Ferguson feels next Monday's Premier League trip to Portsmouth may come too soon for Hargreaves, the 27-year-old is confident than when he does eventually make an appearance he will be around for good.

'There is a lot more to come from me,' he said. 'I don't think I played a game healthy last season. I was at about 50 or 60% at best.

'When I had another scan on the knee this summer it had not improved, so I came back early to try to fix it at the beginning of pre-season. Hopefully I will be fit pretty soon.'

Hargreaves knows he is being missed, especially now midfield colleague Michael Carrick has joined a massive list of absentees.

The former Bayern Munich man is also being forced to sit out England's friendly with the Czech Republic on tomorrow and, quite possibly, the crucial World Cup qualifiers with Andorra and Croatia next month.

However, while he is understandably frustrated at not being able to play any part at present, Hargreaves remains confident everything will turn out fine in the end, just as it did last term as he ended up a Premier League and Champions League winner.

'I am not going to set a timetable but I am close,' he said. 'I am working on my fitness every day and while I have not joined in with the lads yet, hopefully it will happen this week.

'Whether I am fit for Portsmouth or the match after that, the most important thing is I am healthy for the rest of the season.'

Hargreaves has no doubt he made the right decision in quitting Bayern Munich for United, allowing the Calgary-born star to play in the country he opted to play for.

He could never say Bayern did not have state-of-the-art facilities. However, he does feel the whole operation at United is geared towards improvement.

'I know how much I better I can get being around the players and coaching staff here,' he said. 'I have not even come close to fulfilling my potential yet. And, providing I stay healthy, this could be a really big season for me.'

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