Sir Alex Ferguson concedes it is difficult to predict when Owen Hargreaves will return for Man Utd.
Midfielder battling to shake off persistent knee problem
Sir Alex Ferguson concedes it is difficult to predict when Owen Hargreaves will return, but is confident the midfielder has a part to play at Manchester United this season.
Hargreaves has endured an injury-plagued time at Old Trafford since joining the club in the summer of 2007 in an £18million deal from Bayern Munich.
The England international has been restricted to just three appearances this season and has not featured since last month's 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
Ferguson was hoping Hargreaves would be fit to return against West Brom on Saturday, but is now unsure when the 27-year-old will be back.
"He will be back," said Ferguson. "It has been frustrating for us and the lad, but he will play his part this season.
"It is difficult to say exactly when Owen will be back.
"We think he is managing it quite well, so we hope next week we will have some idea.
"He is doing a lot of good work with the physios, and his fitness is fantastic. It is just when he takes part in a football session and has all the turning and twisting."
Ferguson added: "The lad is desperate to play. That is what he came here to do.
"The fact he is a new player is a double burden to handle.
"But we have given him the best advice, and I feel we are giving him the best treatment. He knows that."