Southampton forward Danny Ings has made a swift recovery from a knee problem and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl hopes he could be back in contention for the upcoming game at Brighton.
England international Ings was forced off during the closing minutes of the 4-3 win at Aston Villa on November 1.
Following minor surgery on his left knee, the 28-year-old, who has scored five Premier League goals so far, had been expected to be sidelined for around six weeks.
Hasenhuttl, though, revealed Ings has already been able to resume training.
While Ings will not be fit in time to feature against Manchester United on Sunday, the forward should be involved when Saints head to the Amex Stadium on December 7.
“Danny is back in individual training on the pitch, so I think he can be an option for the Brighton game, which is moved to Monday now, but this weekend not,” the Southampton boss said.
“It was not that bad, this injury, but it is still there and we must pay attention.
“As we said, it was only a light injury, but it looks good.”
Winger Nathan Redmond has been carrying a hamstring problem which saw him miss Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Wolves at Molinuex.
“Not a big one (injury), but it will take another seven or eight days, then let’s have a look,” said Hasenhuttl.
Southampton head into Sunday’s fixture out to build on an unbeaten run of seven matches, during which they briefly topped the Premier League table for the first time.
United, meanwhile, arrive at St Mary’s on the back of a midweek 4-1 Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir and have continued to impress away from home in the Premier League, winning all of their fixtures so far.
Hasenhuttl feels his players should embrace the challenge of stopping United’s run head on.
“They are absolutely a good team and every team that has such quality when they work together, it is always tough winning against,” the Austrian said.
“But preparing for every game is to find solutions also against such opponents.
“It is about not being scared about their quality, to find even better solutions to work, create a few issues. If you do it all together, if you do it well, then this is always possible.
“This is what we need before such a game. We need to create a chance, then when we see it, take it and grab it with both hands.
“Then hopefully, the rest is about investing a lot on the match day.”