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Gary Neville aims to put injuries behind him to extend Manchester United career
Published : 09 Sep 2009 17:26:03
The United captain, who has been plagued by a series of injuries over the past 2½ years, is out of contract at Old Trafford next summer having been handed just a 12-month deal at the end of last season. Having made his first-team debut as a 17 year-old against Torpedo Moscow in 1992, Neville is just 28 appearances short of becoming only the fifth player in the club's history – after Ryan Giggs, Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes and Paul Scholes – to make 600 senior appearances. Related Articles * Carlos Tévez could miss Manchester derby * United face Michele Fornasier complaint * Rio: City can't buy success * United threaten to sue Le Havre * Sport on television * Manchester United's Gary Neville ready to leave football at the end of playing career But the 34 year-old concedes that he has to win his battle for fitness to prolong his playing days at Old Trafford. Neville said: "I hope that I can stay as fit as possible and keep playing games for the club. I'm certainly doing everything I possibly can to do that. "The injuries I've had over the last few years have been a concern, but it's something I've had to deal with. "Injuries are the most frustrating part of being a footballer, but it's not something I think about every day. "You just get on with things and do the best you can to stay fit and the club's medical team do the best they can to help me. But all the players in the dressing room make a contribution. The manager wouldn't have people here if he didn't think they contributed in some way. "I can contribute a lot more when I'm fit and that's the most important thing, to try and stay fit. I'm doing all I can to make sure that happens." Neville could make only his third appearance of the season against Tottenham on Saturday with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson facing doubts over the fitness of defenders Rio Ferdinand and John O'Shea. Ferdinand is not expected to overcome his thigh injury in time for the trip to White Hart Lane, while O'Shea is undergoing treatment on a calf injury sustained while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Summer signing Gabriel Obertan is expected to return to full fitness by mid-October after being sidelined through injury since his free transfer arrival from Bordeaux. Ferguson said: "Gabriel has had a spine problem, but I think he will be back in about a month to six weeks' time. We are taking our time with him we want him back and at 100 per cent. "At 16, he was one of the outstanding young talents in Europe and he has said to us that over this last year and a half he has been playing with a back injury and no one thought about getting a scan. "He is very quick, he can play both sides, or through the middle, and he brings a real versatility to us. "We expect big things from him. He's a nice boy, speaks good English and should have no problems settling in."