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Berbatov returns to training after hamstring injury

Dimitar Berbatov has returned to training after a hamstring injury but Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is still to decide how to use him in Sunday's derby clash with Manchester City.

The Red Devils' record £30.75million signing has missed the last two games after reporting back from international duty with a minor problem picked up against Serbia.

He was able to join his team-mates for the latter part of the training session on Thursday morning, putting him in contention to face Mark Hughes' side at Eastlands.

But Ferguson has vowed not to take any chances with the former Spurs striker and will assess his fitness over the next 72 hours.

''Dimitar started training today but hamstring injuries are never easy to deal with,'' said the United boss. ''We have to be careful because he has never had one before.

''We will have to gauge whether it is wise to use him from the start on Sunday or better to have him on the bench. It really depends how he comes through the next couple of days.''

Ferguson also confirmed veteran duo Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were back in training.

Neville has been struggling with a groin injury, although he might face City, but Scholes - who had a knee operation after the Champions League trip to Aalborg on September 29 - is more likely to be held back until the return meeting with the Danes in a fortnight.

Meanwhile, Ferguson has insisted Manchester United are ready to tackle head on any challenge from their super-rich neighbours.

After buying Brazilian forward Robinho for a British record transfer fee of 32.5 million pounds ($50.18 million) in August, City are poised to try and make more major signings in the January transfer window, but the United boss is ready for the challenge.

"It was an immediate impact and what we had to do was sit back and accept this challenge," Ferguson said.

"We experienced it with Chelsea when (Roman) Abramovich came in and bought all those players that summer and they won the league in the next two years," Ferguson told reporters.

"The one thing you can say about this club is that it can accept a challenge and do something about it and we had to do something about it or we would be second for ever more.

"We accepted it and fortunately we have won the last two leagues."

Ferguson also said his major focus remained on Chelsea and leaders Liverpool as third-placed United look to make up an eight-point deficit and stay in contention for a hat-trick of titles.

"There may be a different focus (on the derby) this time with the prospect Mark Hughes has got of money available and buying so many players in January, but that doesn't change our side of it," he said.

"That's the future: how Mark Hughes uses the money and how he shapes his team. At the moment our threats are still Chelsea and Liverpool, who are sitting above us."


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