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Make or break for Hargreaves

18 Mar 2010 09:06:16

Make or break for Hargreaves

Owen Hargreaves is set to finally face his personal D-day tonight when he plays his first competitive match for 18 months. The United midfielder is expected to be in the Reds' reserve XI to face Burnley at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground. The 29-year-old has been on a seven-month rehab programme at United's Carrington training HQ since returning to England last September from America. He has had two knee operations to cure his chronic tendonitis problem in Colorado and stayed on at Dr Richard Steadman's famous clinic in Vail as part of his recovery plan. But it has been a tortuous road back since joining up with United again in the autumn. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson had hoped to include the England player in the latter part of his Champions League group plans last year but Hargreaves failed to make it. In January, Fergie omitted him from his Euro squad for the second half of the campaign as his recovery schedule meant he was unlikely to be fit to take part in the early knockout ties. Last Thursday, Hargreaves was pencilled in for a reserve outing but he was forced to postpone his appearance because he went to visit a specialist for a medical update. Fergie reported then: "There is nothing wrong and the idea is for him to play in the next game. He has to play in the next game because he is ready to play." Now the day has finally arrived and it's make-or-break for the £18m buy. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck has had to end his loan spell at Preston and return to Manchester for a knee operation. The striker is now set to miss the rest of the season. Do you think Hargreaves will play a part in United's treble bid? Have your say.


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