IT IS a little like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but Manchester United finally received some good news in what has ultimately been a disappointing season. Roy Keane has been given the all-clear to return to action. Alex Ferguson, the United manager, believes that the loss of Keane, in a Premier League game away to Leeds United last September, played a significant part in handing ? eventually ? the championship initiative to Arsenal. Now, though, with the title appearing to be a remote possibility, Ferguson will not rush the Ireland midfield player back. 'We are all happy that Roy has been given the all-clear to play, but we have taken specialist advice and we don't feel the need to rush now,' Ferguson said. 'He will continue his rehabilitation in training and will return fit and strong next season.' For Keane, the news comes as a huge relief after a painful struggle to recover from the cruciate ligament injury that has sidelined him for seven months. There is a reserve team fixture at Old Trafford next week, but he will probably return only in a friendly tournament in Oslo at the end of July. 'There is no point in rushing now,' Keane said. 'Obviously I feel ready and I am itching to play, but I will understand if they decide to wait until the summer, because I realise they are only looking after my best interests. 'It will be hard for me and I would be lying if I said that the first 50-50 tackle wasn't in the back of my mind, but I have been out for so long and I am desperate for a game.' Ronny Johnsen, Keane's United teammate, meanwhile, is unlikely to play again this season. The Norway defender had an operation to remove some cartilage that has troubled him for some weeks and was flown back from international duty with Norway for treatment. Johnsen believes he may be fit for United's last game of the campaign away to Barnsley, but Ferguson played down the prospects. 'The lad has had the operation and, really, he is looking at a period of three or four weeks. But he should be OK for the World Cup finals,' he said. Meanwhile, West Ham have defended their decision to raise ticket prices by 20-30 per cent next season. Peter Storrie, the West Ham managing director, said that the club made the move in order to stay in contention for honours. 'It's a case of the players' wage bill going from ?8 million to ?11 million,' Storrie said. 'At the end of the day, we either want to bring success or we don't. I could drop the prices tomorrow, but obviously we would not be able to maintain this quality of squad. It has been a marvellous season and it has all come at once. 'We're bringing in top-quality players and increasing contracts for existing players and it's going to make a massive hit on our payroll costs in the new season.'