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The Serbian defender, who has been out of action since December with a knee injury, took full part in training on Tuesday and is closing in on a first-team comeback

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has stepped up his comeback from injury by taking part in full training on Tuesday.

The central defender has been sidelined since suffering a serious cruciate knee ligament injury during the Champions League clash against Basel in December.

Vidic took full part in his intensity work and contact training at United’s Carrington training base on Tuesday having previously been limited to running and building physical fitness.

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The Red Devils will assess the 30-year-old's progress over the next week before establishing whether he will be fit to return to action for the club's Premier League opener against Everton on August 20.

Vidic is in the final stages of his recovery although manager Sir Alex Ferguson is keen not to rush him back, with the Serbian not yet pencilled in to feature in any pre-season matches.

United are, however, hopeful are taking Vidic on their Scandinavian tour - on which they play Valerenga and Barcelona - to improve his sharpness and give him some much-needed minutes on the pitch.

Sir Alex will refuse to take any risks with his captain and is mindful that a setback would delay his return, with a comeback for the start of the coming season described by sources as a "long shot".

Vidic has become one of United’s most important players since moving to Old Trafford from Spartak Moscow for £7 million in 2006, winning four Premier League titles as well as the Champions League in 2008.

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