Nemanja Vidic will "definitely" be available for Manchester United's match with Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The captain has played only five games this season due to the knee injury he suffered during a Champions League match with Galatasaray on 19 September.
Sir Alex Ferguson had suggested Vidic might have been available for Sunday's 3-2 derby win at Manchester City, but that proved too soon for the 31-year-old.
"It would have been crazy to play him against City, but against Sunderland – definitely. It's a big bonus," Ferguson told the Daily Mirror. "In the last 18 months he has only had 10 games or something – it is not many games that he has had.
"He is a battler, a real competitor. That uncompromising way of his – he likes defending, that's what it is. Absolutely, he gives us the options."
Wayne Rooney, though, may be a doubt after he was forced to pull out of a book signing on Tuesday. The striker, who has scored four goals in United's last two league games, tweeted: "Not feeling good at all. Had to cancel the book signing today. Sorry to all the fans who were coming. I was really looking forward to it."