Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is ahead of schedule over his latest comeback from injury.

The Mirror says Cleverley is set to hand Manchester United a fitness boost by returning from injury earlier than expected.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had ruled out Cleverley out until Christmas because of ankle ligament damage.

But the midfielder is ahead of schedule and could be back in action within three weeks.

The England starlet is undergoing intensive treatment and is now certain to be back in time for the champions' congested Christmas programme.

It is understood United's medical staff have not ruled out him out of what is now a crunch Champions League tie away to Basel on December 7.