Date: 11th May 2007 at 2:27pm
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United skipper Gary Neville’s season looks to have ended in March as he hasn’t featured since then, due to an ankle injury that will rule him out of the Cup Final.

I had written on these pages not long ago that I fear Gary Neville’s return would be delayed until start of next season. Well, that’s what is set to happen.

First, the Sheffield United game, on April 18 was earmarked for the return of Gary. Fergie was confident that even if he the did not make that clash, he would be available for the following game against Middlesbrough. Then, he was declared to have a very good chance of playing against Milan… and since then, everything’s been quiet.

The swelling on his ankle refused to disappear and he’s not trained with a football ever since his injury. He might do that next week but even he should not play in a Cup Final when he’s desperately short of match fitness.

‘Gary has been doing some light running this week, and did a bit more aggressive work this morning,’ said Fergie.

‘Obviously he’s up against it for the final but we’re going to give him a chance because he deserves to be fit.

‘He’ll have to do some serious work with the football next week as we’ve not introduced that part yet. Whether it will be soon enough, I have my doubts – unfortunately.’

I’m disappointed, to be honest. Apart from the fact that he’s our best right-back by a mile, I was looking forward seeing him lead out his team onto the pitch of the New Wembley. He would have deserved that for all the commitment he has shown throughout his career at us.