Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Owen Hargreaves will not be thrust immediately back into the Manchester United first-team when he returns next month.
Ferguson expects the midfielder to arrive back at Old Trafford on 23rd September after undergoing his rehabilitation in America.
It is now over a year since the 28-year-old was sent to see renowned knee specialist Dr Richard Steadman to cure an on-going problem of tendinitis in both his knees.
Many believed that such an operation would seriously threaten to end the player's career but the Red Devils boss is confident that the England international can make a full recovery, all be it one that is carefully managed.
"Owen comes back on September 23rd," he said.
"We are in dialogue with him all the time and the physio who is doing his rehabilitation over there will be coming with him for a week for the changeover.
"It means we can jointly understand all the treatments and rehabilitation he has been doing.
"The difficult part will be to get him back into the football side. We are certain his fitness will be good and his endurance work will have been done.
"But you don't have a player who has been out for over a year and suddenly throw him back into the fire straight away.
"We will take our time because the important thing is to get him playing to the right level. Once we have done that he will be a tremendous addition for us."