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Ben Foster is tantalisingly close to playing for United's reserves, a huge step on his road to recovery after eight months out following a serious knee injury.

Foster, who underwent cruciate knee ligament surgery in the summer, has been training hard for months now and is itching to get back into action.

"All is going well," he told MUTV. "I've been training for the last two or three months. I started full time training about six weeks ago.

"All been good so far, no niggles or pain, so I'm looking to play a reserves game pretty soon.â€

The 24-year-old is yet to play for the first-team, despite being a United player for almost three years. Impressive spells on loan with Watford raised his profile to the extent that he earned his first England cap a year ago – which came in a friendly against Spain, ironically at Old Trafford.

The temptation, for Sir Alex Ferguson as much as Foster, is to return as soon as possible. But United's medical staff don't want to rush the former Stoke City keeper at the risk of re-injury.

"It's a serious injury,†he added. “I've been out for eight months. I always knew it would be tough this season. I've got to the stage now where I'm itching to go, but the physios are just having to hold me back. It's frustrating, but you have to listen to them.â€

United's Reserves play Liverpool next week, a game Foster would love to play in. But it is likely to come too soon, and there is more vital work to be done on the training ground before Foster is completely ready for his comeback.

“The Liverpool game on Tuesday for the Reserves

would have been ideal, but the medical staff just want me to have a couple more weeks in training.

“I've got to start from where I left off at the start of last season. I felt confident in myself in any given situation. Eight months out knocks you a bit. You forget tiny little things about your game that you need to think about.

“I'm working on my sharpness and my handling in training now. There's a few things I'm going to work on. Kicking, cross-taking with players around me. I've got to do a bit of that, and then I'll hopefully be ready to play for the reserves.â€

Foster can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and United very shortly could have at their disposal one of the best young goalkeepers in the game.

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