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Manchester United To Recall Ben Foster

PTI 26 Sep 2009, 9:43:43 IST

Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson has given the green signal to recall the England goalkeeper Ben Foster at Stoke on Saturday.

Foster, 26, was rested for the Carling Cup tie against Wolves in midweek after playing in every game for United so far this season.

High-profile errors against Manchester City last Sunday and the 2-1 victory over Arsenal last month have placed the spotlight on the former Stoke keeper's performances.

 Kuszczak's return to action in midweek had raised the prospect of Ferguson opting for the Poland keeper ahead of Foster at the Britannia Stadium.

But Ferguson insists that he will restore Foster to the starting line-up against Tony Pulis's team. Ferguson said: "With Edwin van der Sar still three weeks away from fitness, we thought it was a good opportunity for Tomasz to play on Wednesday. But Ben will play tomorrow and I haven't had any doubts about that. Ben hasn't had a lot of game experience, but he will be ok."

Ferguson, who has no new injury worries from the Wolves clash, confirmed that all those on duty against City last Sunday will travel to Stoke.

And the United manager is hopeful that Owen Hargreaves will soon join the first-team squad after finally returning to Old Trafford this week.

The 28-year-old England midfielder, sidelined since undergoing double knee surgery last December, has spent the last six months undergoing rehabilitation at the Colorado clinic of knee specialist, Dr Richard Steadman.

Ferguson said: "Hargreaves is back now and I hope the boy gets a break and continues his rehab without any further mishaps. It's been a long time for the lad. Normally, when a player has been out for that length of time, he has been helped by doing his rehab with the other players. But the fact he did it on his own in America, under the guidance of Dr Steadman, is not easy. He has shown the determination and resilience to see it through, though, and he is now back with us. I feel that maybe it will still take us four weeks to get him into the rhythm of training again and get to the point of match-play, but hopefully he is on the way back."

United sealed a 1-0 victory at Stoke on Boxing Day last season, but Ferguson admits that his team face a tough test in the Potteries.

He said: "Stoke are a club on the way up. They had a very good home record last season, so we know it's not going to be an easy game. But the form of the team is coming and hopefully we can continue that way."