| 7.8°C Dublin

Hargreaves in line for return

Owen Hargreaves is on the brink of a remarkable first-team return at Manchester United after spending seven weeks with a Canadian physiotherapist described by basketball icon Shaquille O'Neal as the "resurrector of careers".

Hargreaves (29) underwent intensive 'movement re-education', which involved up to three hours a day in front of a mirror, having discovered that the root of his knee problems was his pelvis.

He is in contention for a place on the bench for tomorrow's clash with West Brom after banishing fears for his career by completing an uninterrupted month of training following his return from Alex McKechnie's clinic in Vancouver.

The England midfielder has not started a senior fixture for club or country since United's 1-1 draw at Chelsea in September 2008. He has since undergone double knee surgery to resolve a severe tendinitis problem.

After Hargreaves played 45 minutes for the reserves in March prior to a one-minute appearance off the bench at Sunderland in May, a further setback during pre-season training left manager Alex Ferguson admitting his "great concern" over the player's prospects.

But with his career in the balance, Hargreaves enlisted the help of McKechnie, who saved O'Neal's career following an abdominal injury.

McKechnie said: "I treat broken-down athletes who are almost like reclamation projects, but Owen threw everything into it unconditionally. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent