Shinji Kagawa could make a surprise return to the bench for the derby against Manchester City on Sunday after he returned to training ahead of schedule.
Speaking at today’s press conference before the FCR Cluj game, Ferguson confirmed that Kagawa wasn’t far off fitness.
He said: “Kagawa started running today. He may make the bench [against City]. Obviously Nani and Valencia are still out and that’s why I played Rooney on wide right. I thought it was his best performance of the season. Against Cluj I’m picking a team without any thought of Manchester City. It’s a matter of who needs a game.”
Shinji Kagawa has been out of action for Manchester United since injuring his knee at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League against SC Braga in October. The Japanese playmaker made a fantastic start to his career and instantly become a hit with the fans shown by the fact that he won Player of the Month in August.
His penetrative and direct way of attacking through the middle brought something new to our attacks. You only have to look at the impact of David Silva at Manchester City and Clint Dempsey at Fulham last season to see how important a central attacking playmaker can be to the team, but the United injury curse struck him.
Having Kagawa back before the Christmas break would be fantastic. Our wingers have been out of form this season and we have been playing unusually narrow, something that would play right into the hands of Kagawa who is best used in a narrow formation.
Whilst he might not be fit to start against Manchester City on Sunday, just having him as an option on the bench will be fantastic in case we need to bring someone on to pick holes in the City defence alongside Paul Scholes.