Pearson has been out for over four months - his last first-team appearance was in the home draw against Birmingham on September 30.
The Scotland international was an unused substitute in the FA Cup fourth round replay victory at Nottingham Forest last week after making his comeback in a behind-closed-doors game against Aston Villa.
He got some more valuable minutes under his belt on Wednesday, and Clough said: "Stephen has got another hour in his legs with a view to being on the bench against Manchester United."
Pearson is due a change of luck on the injury front. He has suffered with shoulder, groin and knee problems since scoring the winning goal in the 2007 Championship play-off final win against West Brom at Wembley.