Jonny Evans handed Sir Alex Ferguson a boost by training with Manchester United on Monday morning before the squad flew to Romania for Tuesday evening's Champions League group game with CFR Cluj.
Evans suffered a dead leg in Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford which caused concern that United's central defensive crisis had deepened.
Even with Evans probably now available Ferguson has only the Northern Irishman and Rio Ferdinand fit of his first-choice centre-backs.
Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic are long term absentees due to knee injuries while Chris Smalling continues to recover from a broken metatarsal.
Ferguson, perhaps with an eye on Sunday's trip to Newcastle United, has rested the experienced midfielders Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick, who have not travelled to Romania.
Antonio Valencia, who missed Saturday's game with an ankle injury, was missing from the open portion of training, though, as was Carrick
Ferguson has changed his side's European routine this season, meaning they will do all their preparatory work at home before flying to Romania on Monday afternoon. Scott Wootton and Michael Keane were also among those training with the first team this morning, suggesting at least one of the youngsters will make the trip.
United take on the Romanian champions knowing if they can return to England with maximum points, they will have one foot in the knockout stages. And that at least would be one objective for the season completed after last season's unexpected exit at the group phase.
"The Champions League is completely different to the Premier League," said Wayne Rooney. "If you are not at your best you get punished, which is what happened to us last season. We have to make sure that won't happen again this year so this is a big game for us.
"Hopefully we will get a win which will put us in a good position to go through so early on in the group."
After transforming United's performance, if not the result, at Old Trafford on Saturday, Rooney's contribution against Tottenham must surely put him in line for a start. The 26-year-old is certainly up for the challenge given how highly he still rates the Champions League experience.
"I still think it is exciting," said Rooney. "It is a great competition to be in. You look at the teams involved and it is a great challenge for everyone. It is something I love playing in."
Provisional Manchester United squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Rafael, Buttner, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Wootton, Keane, Powell, Cleverley, Anderson, Fletcher, Nani, Tunnicliffe, Lingard, Hernandez, Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie, Kagawa.