Ashley Young’s progress from the knee injury sustained against Fulham to his probable availability for selection against Stoke City has largely gone uncharted.
Wayne Rooney’s gashed leg commanded columns of newspapers, web pages and TV airtime and was granted an almost daily bulletin.
Nemanja Vidic’s cartilage operation was major news for United and nationwide.
Reds fans are ticking off the days to when the Serbian defender can be available to Sir Alex Ferguson again.
And had Robin van Persie fallen foul of the injury curse that has swept through United’s Carrington training HQ, the Dutchman’s recovery would have been keenly monitored by the media.
Yet Young’s road to recovery has been very much an anonymous and unrecorded path.
United fans have not exactly been demanding news of the 27-year-old winger and the topic has rarely surfaced at Fergie’s press conferences.
Even England fans don’t seem to have been fretting too much about his absence.
It is something of a mystery for a player who started off like a train at Old Trafford following his £18m move from Aston Villa last summer.
He also became the go-to goalscoring winger-cum-forward for both Fabio Capello and subsequently Roy Hodgson in their England XIs.
Young rewarded both Three Lions managers for their faith last season and also repaid Reds boss Fergie for investing £18m in him.
For England he scored goals in four matches on the trot against Wales, Montenegro, Holland and Norway during European Champions qualifiers and warm-up friendlies.
Going into Euro 2012 he was a nailed-on a selection.
But Young was unable to reproduce the scoring form at the tournament and, despite playing in all four matches, he couldn’t make the impact he’d promised. It all ended on a bum note with his penalty miss in the quarter-final shoot-out defeat to Italy.
He couldn’t even forget the trauma in Kiev because when he joined up with United’s tour party he again missed from the spot in a glamour pre-season friendly against Barcelona in Gothenburg.
It has gone downhill for Young ever since and the challenge is now on to win back his stature for the Reds and England.
He’s seen United attempt to add flair in his department during the summer in Brazilian Lucas Moura from Sao Paulo.
When the tricky midfielder went to Paris St Germain for £40m Sir Alex was clearly put out that his target had been lured away.
“I find it quite amazing that a club can pay 45million euros for a 19-year-old boy,” he said. “When somebody’s paying £45million for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad.”
Now the Reds are being linked yet again with a January transfer window swoop for Colombian star James Rodriquez. The 21-year-old has been called the South American Cristiano Ronaldo and United have been monitoring his progress at Porto.
Rodriquez is aware of the interest.
“We all know that Manchester United are a great club,” he said. “England is a great league but I’m thinking of Porto for now. We’re having a good time and personally I’m feeling fine and am focused on there.”
But the fact United are clearly hovering will not sit well with Young and wing colleague Nani, who also has a sizable question mark over his United future.
The latter is already on rocky ground and Juventus and AC Milan are keen to end an Old Trafford career that appears to be fizzling out surrounded by controversy.
Like Nani, Young will discover, as he attempts to claw his way back into United’s XI, that Fergie’s new diamond formation could add to the obstacles in his way.
The ‘wingless’ strategy won’t be employed in every match, but it is a tactic that adds midfield security in Europe and for the bigger Premier League matches.
With Champions League matches ahead against Braga and the showpiece Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Arsenal around the corner, it could get more further airing in favour of the Reds’ traditional two-winger 4-4-2 style.
Young, of course, isn’t restricted to plying his trade purely down the wide channels.
He can operate successfully behind a main striker.
However, if anyone is going to nab that job on a permanent basis for the time being then it is going to be Wayne Rooney.
It all adds up to a major test for Young. Shaking off the knee injury that has cost him the last eight United matches might have been the easiest part of his rehab.