Smith may be ready for kick-off
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sir Alex Ferguson says Alan Smith could even be back for the big Premiership kick-off.
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Alan Smith is ahead of schedule and could even return to action for the start of the Premiership season.
The former Leeds United star has been sidelined since sustaining a terrible leg injury against Liverpool in the FA Cup last February.
However, he made a surprisingly swift return to training this week and his appetite for action is giving Ferguson food for thought.
"I think it's all to do with his own personality," explained Ferguson to Sky Sports News.
"When he got injured, he was so philosophical about it. He just accepted it, whereas other players have worried and fretted.
"Sometimes, that can delay your comeback. It's just a mental thing.
"Alan's so strong there. No-one's amazed [at the speed of his recovery]. A bit surprised, but not amazed.
"The way he trained yesterday, I wouldn't put him off being ready for the start of the season. I must say, he was terrific."
Smith is being converted back into a forward after being used in midfield last term.
The Red Devils boss also paid tribute to midfielder Paul Scholes, who has returned from the eye problem that dogged him for the back-end of last season.
"Scholes was a revelation in South Africa," said Ferguson.
"They pick the man of the match, these things, I don't know how it works and who judges it. In the three games we played, I don't think Paul gave the ball away more than once.
"His possession of the ball was fantastic with his vision and brain working all the time.
"It was great to see that."