Michael Owen should return for Manchester United's midweek Champions League game against Marseille after it was feared that he could miss the rest of the season with a groin injury.
Owen, 31, has struggled with injuries throughout his career and spent three months on the sidelines from October with a hamstring problem, and reports suggested that his 'groin had gone' after a training session on Monday.
Now, the club have revealed that while the striker will miss the FA Cup tie against non-league Crawley Town, he should be back in time for the Champions League tie.
"Michael Owen picked up a small injury during the week and is out of the Crawley game,'' Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed. ''It's disappointing because I was keen to play him. We could risk him but there's no point. He should be okay for Wednesday [against Marseille].''
Ferguson also confirmed that long-term absentee Antonio Valencia should return to full fitness shortly.
"Antonio [Valencia] has done a full week's training with the Reserves,'' he said. ''Mainly running, there hasn't been any contact. He's done very well. We hope he'll join us by the end of next week.''