The summer signing from Borussia Dortmund has not featured for the Red Devils since picking up a knee injury in the Champions League win over Braga back in October.
However, the Japan international appears to be closing in on a return to action with Sir Alex Ferguson confirming his recovery is going well.
"Shinji should start training with the first team on Monday, which is good news," he told reporters in his pre-match press conference.
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There was further good news for the league leaders as Nemanja Vidic has also returned to fitness and will be included in Saturday's squad to face Sunderland at Old Trafford.
"Nemanja is back in the squad tomorrow but Jonny Evans is out obviously after his injury last week," added Sir Alex.
"He got the injury midway through the first half and he struggled on to half-time but I always think with muscle injuries that if you start the second half with it it’s a problem.
"Chris Smalling came on and did very well, played excellent. But having Vidic back in the squad is a big, big one for us. My only issue is whether to start him or not. We hope we have given Nemanja the proper rehabilitation.
“We’ll give him a chance and we hope he sails through it but I don’t know whether he will start. He’s only played 10 games in the last 12 month which is not like Nemanja.”