Cristiano Ronaldo Back in Time to Face Liverpool

Jeff HarbertSenior Writer ISeptember 12, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo was initially ruled out until October following his foot surgery in July, but it appears the Manchester United winger may be ready to play as early as tomorrow. United take on Liverpool at Anfield, in what is certainly their biggest game of the season so far.

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted the reigning PFA Player of the Year has "come on leaps and bounds" in his recovery and is pushing for inclusion in tomorrow’s crunch match.

“I think we mentioned a couple of weeks ago he was making rapid progress in terms of overcoming the injury problem,” Sir Alex said. “He had and the training he's been doing with the physios and Tony Strudwick the fitness coach. He's been making great strides in the direction towards first-team football."

Ronaldo’s return could not possibly come at a better time, with United facing Villarreal in their Champions League Group E opener, followed by their trip to Stamford Bridge next weekend. Ferguson’s men have struggled to find the net this season, but the purchase of Dimitar Berbatov, and now the return of Ronaldo, will certainly make United’s goal scoring problems a thing of the past.

Ronaldo’s shock return will most likely cause Rafa Benitez to do some shuffling in his squad before their lunch-time kick-off tomorrow. Fortunately for Liverpool Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard have also been deemed fit to play.

But what difference will Ronaldo make if selected? The game may have come a little too soon for the Portuguese international, but if he does end up playing, will it have an effect on the result?

Ronaldo scored his first goal against Liverpool in United’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford last year, and another goal against United’s rivals would be more than welcome by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Despite not having played since the EURO’s, Ronaldo will most likely be poised to have some sort of involvement in tomorrow’s game. I have my doubts as to whether or not he’ll play, but just the news of his return will give United fans even more confidence ahead of what is bound to be a difficult week.

The majority of United supporters have forgiven Ronaldo for declaring interest in Real Madrid this summer, and most will undoubtedly be hoping to see United’s star man taking the field at Anfield tomorrow.