United's injury problems at the back are expected to ease before the new season gets underway in earnest next month.
The Reds took only one senior defender on the DHL tour, Rio Ferdinand, for a variety of reasons but Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic are making good progress, even if Jonny Evans could miss the beginning of the campaign.
"Jonny Evans has had an operation," stressed the boss in Durban. "I'm not sure he'll start the season but he won't be far away. Vidic will start the season. I am sure of that. He's doing good amounts of training but not in the competitive sense in the way the lads out here have done.
"It was pointless bringing him with us. He's back at Carrington with the facilities and the physios so he can get to the next level. By the time we come back, we hope he'll be at the competitive stage of his comeback.
"Chris Smalling has actually done a bit of training. But the ruptured groin muscle he suffered needed a lot of attention. He's making progress and we expect him to start the season."