Sir Alex Ferguson recognises the importance of Wes Brown to Manchester United and hopes he will stay fit this season.
The right-back has been plagued by injuries in recent years, with an ankle operation followed by a foot problem keeping him sidelined for most of last term.
He returned to duty against Hull City on the final day of the campaign but it was only his 13 appearance in all competitions.
Brown has come through the early part of United's pre-season programme unscathed and Ferguson has also been impressed by his performances so far on the tour of Asia.
"If Wes stays fit, we are in business because he is a fantastic defender," said Ferguson.
"Even against the Malaysian team, on a couple of occasions he has showed real experience in handling one-versus-one situations.
"That is what he is really good at. His timing and reading of situations is fantastic. He is quick to get to the ball."
Ferguson accepts that he will have to keep his fingers crossed over Brown's long-term fitness, purely because of what the 29-year-old has been through in the past.
"If Wes stays fit, it is an absolute bonus for us," he said.
"You have to hope he gets the kind of luck he deserves because, when you look at his injury record, it is not a good one."