Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Nemanja Vidic will return to the Manchester United squad for Saturday's encounter with Sunderland.
Vidic has been out since September following another bout of knee surgery and, while Ferguson has not decided whether to start with the Serbian at Old Trafford, he confirmed it was a major boost to have him back.
"Nemanja is back in the squad," said Ferguson. "He is a top defender and our captain."
Ferguson also confirmed Shinji Kagawa would begin training with the first-team again after a two-month absence.
However, Jonny Evans has been ruled out of Saturday's game with a hamstring injury.
"I felt it would be a problem for Jonny at the start of the second half last week," said Ferguson.