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Paul Scholes could be back to bolster United's silverware hunt by mid-December.

The veteran midfielder suffered medial knee ligament damage in September's Champions League win at Aalborg, and press rumours had suggested he would return to action in time for the looming Manchester derby at the end of November.

While Sir Alex Ferguson scoffed at those suggestions, he did admit that Scholes should be available for December's FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

"There's no chance of him being back for City, absolutely no chance," the manager told a press conference. "We've pencilled him in for the week before the Japan trip. The week before, possibly."

The suggestion that Scholes could travel to Eastlands emerged after the midfielder returned to first team training, and Sir Alex admitted that the 34-year-old is progressing nicely.

"Paul's doing very well," said Sir Alex. "He's kicking a ball, he's doing a lot of straight running but that's it."{F9E570E6-407E-44BC-800F-4A3110258114}&newsid=6622651
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