Ferguson flags Vidic return, Young out
Nemanja Vidic will return to training on Friday, but Ashley Young is out for two weeks, according to Manchester United's Alex Ferguson.
The United manager also revealed that Jonny Evans was back in full training this week following an injury he picked up at Sunderland in March, while Evans' fellow defender Chris Smalling could only manage light fitness work.
Paul Scholes, who has taken longer to recovery from a routine knee procedure than was expected, is scheduled to train on Monday.
"I'm hoping Vida will start training (Friday)," Ferguson told reporters ahead of United's game away to Stoke City on Sunday.
"Jonny Evans has trained this week, which is better news than we had building up to Monday's game.
"Ashley Young is out - he got a sore whack on his ankle and is maybe out for two weeks. Other than that, we're in good shape in terms of player availability.
"Chris Smalling started running this week and Paul Scholes will start training with the first team on Monday. He's done a fair bit in the last week or so and it will be a terrific boost to get his football intelligence back in the squad. He's been out for a few weeks now so he'll need a good bit of training with us."
United go to Stoke's Britannia Stadium on the back of Manchester derby defeat at the hands of City last Monday, and the importance of gaining a positive result is not lost on Ferguson.
"We have a job to do," he said.
"The incentives are there for ourselves in the sense of we've only got seven games left.
"The challenge is there for Stoke as well. I don't think they will go down but, nonetheless, they're in a precarious situation because, down the bottom of that league, you don't pick up a lot of points. I think they'll get enough to get out.
"I don't think we should look at our position in terms of being 12 points clear.
"As we always do, we should just try to do our best. We have a job to do on Sunday and we need to do it."
"It's always a difficult place to go, but we have a job to do. Stoke have a great support, probably one of the noisiest in the league.
"You know you're always going to get a hard game at Stoke. That will never change."