Last Updated: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 14:48
Sir Alex Ferguson insists Nemanja Vidic is getting back to his best.
The Manchester United skipper was a surprise omission from Ferguson's starting line-up to face Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Instead, Jonny Evans got the job of partnering Rio Ferdinand in central defence, with the Northern Irishman adding to his blossoming reputation with a solid display.
Yet it is clear Vidic still has a major role to play.
His performance against Everton last weekend was a throwback to the Serbian's best days.
But after virtually 16 months out of action and two lots of major knee surgery, Ferguson is happy for Vidic to inch his way back.
"Steadily, he's getting there," said Ferguson. "He was fantastic against Everton and I had my doubts over whether I was doing the right thing or not.
"But, in my mind, three days' recovery was a risk, so I stuck by what we've been doing with him.
"We've managed it for a while now. When Nemanja came back from his latest injury he'd only played about eight games in 18 months. That's a long time out and not a lot of games."
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.