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Carrick set for Manchester United return

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick could make his first-team return in the Champions League clash with Valencia at the Mestalla stadium on Wednesday.

• No Rooney, no problem

Carrick has not started a game for United since the Community Shield and, although he did join up with the England squad for their opening Euro 2012 qualifiers, he was then sent for an injection to try to ease an Achilles problem.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson reported on Friday that Carrick had returned to training and the former Tottenham Hotpsur star was on the flight to Spain that departed without the injured Wayne Rooney on Tuesday morning.

Rooney picked up an ankle injury in the 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers at the weekend. Dimitar Berbatov is expected to lead the line in his absence while Michael Owen's three goals in the last two matches could earn him a place in the line-up.

Paul Scholes misses out, with Ferguson opting to rest the 35-year-old after he played the full 90 minutes at Bolton.

Rio Fedinand has made two appearances since recovering from the knee injury that wrecked his World Cup and is set to partner Nemanja Vidic in central defence after being rested at the weekend.

United's Champions League campaign began with a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Rangers two weeks ago.


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