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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Smith hoping for Bougherra return in Europe

Rangers boss Walter Smith believes intensive treatment could make Madjid Bougherra available for next Wednesday night's make or break Champions League clash with Unirea Urziceni.

Talismanic defender Bougherra has not played for the club for a month, missing the last four games after hurting himself in training.

The 27-year-old Algeria star reportedly visited a specialist in Paris this week and is targeting the SPL game against St Mirren a week on Saturday for his comeback. But his manager is keen to include him in the travelling party for the must-win Champions League Group G clash in Romania.

"I think there is a possibility that Madjid Bougherra could be fit for Romania next week,'' Smith told the club's official website. "With a week of treatment in the build-up, there must be a chance. He has some bruising on the ligament but, with daily work on that, I would hope he would be fit to travel with us to Bucharest.''

Smith also revealed long-term injured Maurice Edu and Kirk Broadfoot could be back in full training as early as next week. Midfielder Edu, who was the victim of racist abuse after Rangers' home thrashing by Unirea last week, has not played all season following a summer knee operation. Full-back Broadfoot has been sidelined since March with a foot problem that also required surgery.

Smith said: "Maurice had a bit of a problem with his knee and had to go and get an injection, and that set him back a couple of weeks. So we are looking for Mo and Kirk this week to complete the final part of their rehabilitation and they would then integrate with the group after that.

"We are maybe looking at a fortnight after that before they are ready and, at that point, they will need games because of the length of time they have both been out. We hope they will be back in full training next week and then it will be a matter of trying to get them a game or two before we could consider them for the first team.''

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