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"Carrick is improving with his ankle and has got a good chance of being in the squad. We’ll just check to see if he can twist and turn correctly before we make a decision."

– David Moyes

31/01/2014 22:00, Report by James Tuck

Carrick close but Nani still out

Michael Carrick is in line to return against Stoke City on Saturday but Nani could be sidelined for another month with his hamstring injury.

Carrick missed Tuesday’s win over Cardiff City with an ankle problem but has progressed well in training. The news is less positive for winger Nani, who hasn’t played since early December.

Meanwhile, boss David Moyes revealed Rio Ferdinand will be in the squad for the trip to the Britannia Stadium and praised the defender for helping him at the start of his United reign.

Moyes said: "Nani has had a bad hamstring injury. 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 [on Saturday]. 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.

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

Moyes also said he would "probably" include Marouane Fellaini in United’s squad on Saturday and will give the summer signing plenty of chances to impress in the remainder of the season.

MoreMoyes happy with business | Injury news | Mata: Stoke hold no fear

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