Nani to return for United against Marseille
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -- Manchester United winger Nani will face Olympique Marseille in the Champions League after recovering sooner than expected from a leg injury, manager Alex Ferguson said on Monday. The Portugal international trained with the first team earlier in the day, raising the prospect of a return in time for Tuesday's last-16 second leg at Old Trafford after Ferguson had last week ruled him out.
"He trained on Sunday also, he and Michael Carrick, which is a better situation than I had at the weekend," Ferguson told a news conference, referring to Saturday's FA Cup win over Arsenal where midfield injuries forced him to field seven defenders.
"Both will be involved tomorrow."
Defender and captain Nemanja Vidic missed training on Monday after picking up a knock in the 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory but should be fit for Tuesday when United and Marseille resume battle after a 0-0 draw in France last month.
It was unclear whether Ferguson planned to name Nani in the starting line-up, just over a week after he suffered a gashed leg after a high tackle by Liverpool's Jamie Carragher, or whether fellow winger Antonio Valencia was in the running.
Valencia made his first appearance for six months on Saturday after a long recovery from a broken and dislocated ankle and put in a good performance when he came on for the second half.
"It was a fantastic bonus for us to get 45 minutes from Antonio on Saturday," said Ferguson. "The question is whether we can play him from the start or continue as we did on Saturday as a substitute. It's a great selection problem for me."
United are seeking a fifth successive quarter-final appearance, while Marseille have not been in the last eight since winning the first ever Champions League trophy in 1993.
"We have to recognise that they are experienced and powerful," said Ferguson of the French champions.
"It's going to be a hard game. They are a good team, I think in these games at Old Trafford ... it's always a terrific atmosphere, that does help us."
United are unbeaten in all competitions this season and have never lost to French opposition at Old Trafford.