"Ji is back training and he will almost definitely be playing by the end of December. He is doing really well," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. "He may have to wait until the beginning of next year, but he is certainly on the way back. He's doing good training."

There was further good news for United as Park's fellow long-term absentees, Mikael Silvestre and Ben Foster, are also recovering well from serious knee injuries.

"Mikael Silvestre, as we predicted, could be back in March," added Sir Alex. "And Ben Foster is also doing some good work. We expect him to be available in February, or maybe March."