United's Park boost

11 December 2006 12:06
Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park is close to a return to first-team action after coming through a reserve team clash unscathed. The 25-year-old South Korea international has not played since early September after undergoing ankle surgery, but played for 45 minutes in a reserve team appearance last week. "Park is a great player to get back," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. "His versatility and movement off the ball is something we shall use over the Christmas period. "He also gives us the option of resting our wider players in various games because he can play on both sides of the pitch." Ferguson has also revealed that Alan Smith's fitness levels are improving as he continues to battle back from the double leg fracture he suffered at Liverpool in February. Smith also played for the reserves last week, and Ferguson said of the former Leeds United star: "There's been a slight improvement in Alan each week over the last three. "He's still a bit short, so we'll keep him on the work he's doing. He's now using his left foot much more than he did three weeks ago, which is good news."

Source: ESA