The defender has been sidelined since October after undergoing surgery on his knee but is closing in on a return which could occur at Old Trafford early next month.
"In the last 10 days I've been training outside again, doing two days of running and then a recovery day after that," said Richards.
"I had a big fitness session on Tuesday and I'm starting to feel really good again so, when the lads are back from international duty, I should be taking part in partial sessions with them as I continue to close in on a return.
"I think the Newcastle match will come too soon for me, though I hope to have been training normally by then.
"Realistically, I'm looking more to the game away to United and then the FA Cup semi-final, maybe against United again, to be properly involved again - two relaxing games in a week on the horizon!
"I'll be trying my best to get back into the squad and it will be great just to be back among the lads and getting a feel for everything again."