The official Manchester United website reports that Owen Hargreaves will return to Manchester on September 23rd to complete the final stage of his rehabilitation to get him playing again.

Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken at length about the process of bringing Hargreaves back, whilst concedes he thinks Rio Ferdinand will be back a week later than the player predicted.

“We’re in dialogue all the time with Owen and the physio who’s conducting his rehabilitation in America,” Ferguson said. “He’ll come with Owen for a week for the change-over so we can jointly understand the treatment and rehabilitation he’s been doing. That’s straightforward. The difficulty is getting him back into football work. I say difficult because we’ve not seen him all this time. We’re relying on information we get from the States. We’re certain that his fitness work will be good, we just have to gage the right time to bring him into football training. You don’t have a player out for a year and then just throw him straight into the fire. The important thing is to get him back playing to his level, which is a very good level, because he’ll be a great addition to us.”

Edwin Van der Sar and Rafael da Silva have both been ruled out against Arsenal and we’re still a few weeks away from seeing Rio back.

“It’s nice for him to let us know when he will be available,” Ferguson said sarcastically after being told about Rio’s prediction. “We think it will be longer than that. It will be a week after that.”