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The strong central defender has returned to Sir Alex Ferguson's squad after serious knee problems, but suggests he will have to carefully manage his comeback to avoid setbacks

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic admits the next three months will be crucial in determining his recovery from serious knee injuries - but he is glad to be back for the Premier League leaders.

The tough-tackling centre-back injured three main ligaments in his knee against Basle in the Champions League last December, and damaged the same area once again while training in September, further delaying his comeback.

Goal.com exclusively revealed that United will take a safety-first approach to Vidic's recovery, and although his schedule is dictated by medical staff, the 31-year-old is ready to get his career back on track and lead the club to glory.

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"The doctor is managing the games I am playing at the moment," he told the club's official television station MUTV.

"Over the first two or three months I have to really look at that because sometimes I might have a reaction - this is a process I have to go through."

Table-topping United lead Premier League champions Manchester City by seven points going into the new year, and after finally returning to the starting XI, Vidic says he is simply happy to be playing and improving his game once again.

"I am glad I have managed to play after three months," he added. "It is nice to be on the pitch and playing games.

"Hopefully I can play more often so I can build my form and play better."

Sir Alex Ferguson's side travel to Wigan on New Year's Day looking to extend their advantage at the top of the table, while City host Stoke.

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