Date: 8th January 2010 at 5:18pm
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There’s been little trumpeting about this but the official website reports that Owen Hargreaves is closer to a return than ever before: he started full training with the Reserve squad which means he’ll now do ball work and will soon be ready to join the first-team squad again.

Will he ever be fully fit again? That is still far from certain but at least he made a huge step, a step he had been hesitant about, according to rumours. He has to overcome considerable mental obstacles after spending 16 months on the sidelines but he’s a strong enough character to emerge triumphant.

There is of course another pressing issue: how did his injury affect his game? Hargreaves’ football was based on his great dynamism and mobility and these could be severely restricted by such a long-term knee problem. If he loses this edge of his game he’ll end up an ordinary player, far from the one we had such high hopes (which initially, during his debut season, seemed totally justified as he was performing very well) for.

But at least for the time being we can look ahead with a little optimism and anticipation: it would be marvellous to see Hargreaves on the pitch again.