Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is optimistic he can call for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in his backline for Tuesday’s fixture against Aston Villa.
Ferguson rotated his full defence in the FA Cup 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday and handed a debut to goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.
Both centre-backs have been sidelined due to injury and have been given time to recover and rest, but the Scot hopes to put them back in their usual roles in midweek.
Defenders Rafael, Patrice Evra and Edwin van der Sar will also take back their regular positions in the starting XI.
Ferguson told the club's official website: "Vidic should be alright, Rio started running on Thursday and hopefully will be OK by Tuesday."
Asked about Rafael, who was ruled out after picking up concussion in the comeback against Blackpool, he said: "Rafa should also be OK, he got the all-clear on Friday and Patrice Evra had a family bereavement so we left him out at Southampton.
"We should have our back four back against Villa."