Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand could make a quicker than expected comeback after returning to training this week.
Ferdinand was initially expected to return from the knee ligament injury which forced him to miss the World Cup at the end of September.
However, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed the England defender has trained this week and is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
"Rio hadn't done anything football-wise when I spoke last week," explained Ferguson.
"When he read what I said maybe it gave him a kick. But he has come in and trained this week and done fantastic. He will train with the reserves today.
"He won't be involved on Saturday (against West Ham), of course, but we have to try and think when we can get a game with him in the next two weeks he is that close.
"You need to be aware of knee ligament injuries but at the moment everything is fine."
Ferdinand will now make a comeback for the reserves in early September prior to making a first-team return well before the end of the month.