Sir Alex Ferguson intends to name Owen Hargreaves in his 25-man Champions League squad even though he has no real idea when the midfielder will make his Manchester United comeback.
Hargreaves has been missing for over 15 months now after undergoing major surgery on both knees in an effort to cure a long-standing tendinitis problem. Although the England international is now doing some football training, Ferguson has no idea when the £17million signing from Bayern Munich will be fit enough to come back into the fold.
Nevertheless, the manager feels it is worth picking Hargreaves among the players that must be submitted to UEFA by the end of the month, and said: "Yes, Owen will probably be in my Champions League squad. It will be finalised in the next 10 days and unless something untoward happens I would imagine we will be picking him."
Having trust in his own body seems to have been an issue for Hargreaves, which is perhaps not surprising given he knows his career is at stake if his comeback bid fails.
Yet there have been some positive signs, even if a full recovery has so far proved elusive.
"Owen is still training with the reserves," said Ferguson.
"Now it is two days on and one day off and he is preparing to get to the proper levels.
"He has done two or three sessions with us in the last couple of weeks and did very well in Qatar last week.
"But it is a process and hopefully we will get to the point where he feels confident about playing again."