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Giggs Ready For Inter

Ryan Giggs has given Manchester United a tremendous boost in the countdown to their Champions' League showdown with Inter Milan. Giggs has recovered quicker than expected from his hamstring injury and will face the Italians in the first leg at Old Trafford on March 3.

Initially boss Alex Ferguson had warned that the Welsh international could miss the clash with Inter after he limped off against Derby a fortnight ago. Ferguson and United fans alike felt a horrible sense of deja vu as 12 months previously Giggs had suffered a similar injury against the Rams which kept him out of both legs of the Champions' League quarter-final against Monaco.

But this time round his injury was not as bad as first feared and he had recovered sufficiently for Ferguson to bring him on for the last 13 minutes against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. As recently as Monday Ferguson had ruled Giggs out of the biggest Premiership match of the season, but 48 hours later he decided he was fit enough to risk as a substitute.

Giggs almost created what would have been the winning goal for Dwight Yorke after he came on against the Gunners and Ferguson was delighted to have him back.

"It was one of those situations where we had five subs and we were suitably covered with Wes Brown the defender, Paul Scholes for midfield and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the striker" he said. "Then you are looking for someone who can change the face of the game and there's nobody better at that than Ryan. He had done three days' training, nothing serious, and we felt he was worth risking for 15 minutes.

"Now he has a game behind him and we'll work on his fitness to make sure he's ready for the Milan game."

Giggs' return from injury means Ferguson's vast squad is almost back to full strength. Denis Irwin has all but recovered from his groin problem and should be in the squad to face Coventry at Highfield Road on Saturday, while Teddy Sheringham is nearing full fitness following his knee problem.

Giggs' recovery, though, could be bad news for Jesper Blomqvist.

The Swedish international has been a capable stand-in for Giggs on the left wing, but looks likely to make way for him now. Blomqvist has had to make up lost ground with his fitness after he missed the start of the season with a foot injury. He has come back well and he aims to make it as hard as possible for Ferguson to drop him.

"I feel good at the minute and it's getting better all the time," he said. "I feel that I can still get better. It has taken a little while for me to settle in, but everything has been OK so far."