Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson believes the return of Paul Scholes from long-term injury is like signing a new player.
The 33-year-old midfielder, who was scheduled to take in competitive training Friday after recovering from an operation on knee ligaments he damaged in October, could play this weekend in the FA Cup.
"The rehabilitation is going fantastically well, he's been training fantastically for the last four weeks," Ferguson said Friday. "On the physical and endurance side that was perfectly all OK."
The former England international will be fully examined later Friday and might feature in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round match against Tottenham at Old Trafford.
"He's a consideration because he's such a great player, so he could be on the bench, it really depends on how he comes through today," Ferguson said. "He's champing at the bit as you'd expect with him, all week he's been begging the coaches for a game." Ferguson needs a strong squad for his team's final push in its Premier League title defense, as well as the Champions League and FA Cup campaigns. The Scot said he has no plans to bring in new players in the final week of the transfer window.
"We're very buoyed by Paul coming back, it's almost like a new singing at a very important time with Europe and the FA Cup starting," Ferguson said.
France striker Louis Saha has resumed training after injuring his knee in October and should be ready in 10 days, Ferguson said. Captain Gary Neville will also resume full training on Saturday. The veteran defender has not played since breaking his ankle in March and has missed several expected comeback dates through a succession of calf and thigh problems.