Date:Monday December 4 2006
Steve Harper had a double hernia operation last week, but says he could be back in action at Christmas.
The 31-year-old keeper has immediately set his sights on at least being back on the bench by the time United go to Everton on December 30.
Harper (talking to the Chronicle): 'I'm on the mend now. I had one operation Tuesday lunchtime and the other on Wednesday morning.
'The place was fantastic - you just had to look at all the pictures on the walls of the sportsmen they've operated on, including my pal Alan Shearer.
'I sat on the bench for the Celta Vigo game in the UEFA Cup and it was a struggle then.
'I'd have got through 10-20 minutes if needed, but I had reached the end of the road. I couldn't hold out any longer.
'I suffered the problem in the last couple of minutes against Manchester United at Old Trafford and it just deteriorated from then on. I tried to play on for as long as I could.
'The club doctor told me Rab Douglas had a double hernia during his time at Celtic and was back within a month, so I'll try and shave a bit of time off that.
'Hopefully, I'll be back for the games between Christmas and New Year. I don't enjoy being in the treatment room, so I'll get out there as quick as I can.'
He added: 'The Liverpool game was forgettable, but after that I really enjoyed it.
'There was some memorable moments in there. Shay came back a little bit earlier than I would have liked, but I was struggling towards the end.'
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