Sir Alex Ferguson has pencilled in the home game against Hull Cityon January 23 for the return of the 31-year-old central defender, whohas been out of action with a back problem since October.
The news will be welcomed by the United manager, whose defensiveproblems have stretched his squad to the limit, forcing him to usemidfield players such as Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher asmakeshift defenders.
Hopeful: Rio Ferdinand could be back in a fortnight
It will also provide a significant boost for Ferdinand's hopes of playing for England in this summer's World Cup.
Ferdinand has played only 11 games from a total of 34 for United and England this season.
It means Ferguson has given him all the time he needs to recoverfrom the back trouble which, at one stage, raised serious doubts aboutwhether he could continue at the highest level. It now looks like theirpatience will pay dividends.
'I'm very happy with Rio's progress,' said Ferguson. 'He has beendoing a lot of running and could be back in action in two weeks.
'But one thing is certain, having waited this long we will not bring him back until he's 100 per cent.' Birmingham 1 Man United 1: Dann own goal rescues point for 10-man United United defender Ferdinand wants to put his nightmare year behind himVIDEO: Evans and Ferdinand on the road to recovery for Manchester UnitedMANCHESTER UNITED FC