Carrick returns for Manchester United but Nani out for a month

The England international has recovered from a minor ankle injury, while his Portuguese colleague is facing an additional four weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem
Manchester United are set to welcome Michael Carrick back into the squad to face Stoke City on Saturday but will be without Nani for a further month.

An ankle injury kept the England international out of the Red Devils' Tuesday win over Cardiff City but David Moyes expects him to be available, pending a final check before the match.

Portuguese winger Nani, however, may have been unable to seal a move away in the January transfer window but will continue to be out due to a hamstring problem.

"Nani has had a bad hamstring injury," Moyes told the club's official website. "He's getting closer now but I think it will be another month until he will be about ready to play.

"Carrick is improving with his ankle and has got a good chance of being in the squad [against Stoke]. He's improving and has done some training. We'll just check to see if he can twist and turn correctly before we make a decision."

Another name back in the matchday reckoning is Rio Ferdinand. The veteran defender has struggled for form in 2013-14 but Moyes is delighted with his input both on and off the pitch.

"Rio is back in training and in the squad as well," the Scot added.

"I'll continue to use Rio at the right times when we think we can play him. He has made a great contribution, especially in the first half of the season. He played a big part in helping me settle and get my feet under the table a little bit.

"He's got competition for places at centre-half but he is very much valued and looked at as one of the senior players here."

More to follow...