Manchester United expect Owen Hargreaves to be back in contention for a first-team place in September.
The 28-year-old England midfielder has been sidelined since last September with tendinitis problems in his knees.
United decided the best course of action to cure the long-standing problem was surgery on both knees and Hargreaves is now beginning to return to training.
Should he suffer no setback then manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes he could step up his comeback during a pre-season tournament in Germany in two weeks' time.
"We're happy with his rehabilitation and while he won't be ready to play in Munich, he will train," Ferguson said.
"I think we're looking at the end of September depending on how he reacts."
Hargreaves has started only 25 games since arriving at Old Trafford in a £25million deal from Bayern Munich two years ago.
Meanwhile, Nemanja Vidic could also feature in Germany after missing the club's current Asia tour with a slight ankle problem.
New signing Luis Antonio Valencia has also been pencilled in for his United debut during the same series of games after red tape held up his attempt to secure a work permit following his £18million move from Wigan Athletic.