Rio poised for return

Manchester United reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared Rio Ferdinand fit to make a first-team comeback.

The defender, who has been recovering from a major knee ligament problem, came through Wednesday night's second string clash with Oldham unscathed.

The reserves encounter marked the first time Ferdinand had seen action since sustaining the injury in a freak collision with Emile Heskeyon the first day of World Cup training with England.

The knock ruled the 31-year-old out of the South Africa tournament, dashing his hopes of captaining his country for the event.

It also saw him miss the opening three games of United's Premier League campaign, as well as the start of England's Euro 2012 qualifying challenge.

However, it appears Ferdinand could return for United's league clash with Everton at Goodison Park on September 11th after a solid display at the low-key arena of Bower Fold in Stalybridge.

"Rio is always the same player," said Solskjaer. "It is a while since he has played but he was still calm.

"He has got through an important 45 minutes, straight after two very hard training sessions yesterday and the day before so we are delighted with him."

Solskjaer was quick to dispel any concerns that Ferdinand's failure to play the entire 90 minutes was down to a recurrence of the injury.

"There was no problem whatsoever," he added.

"It was always planned that he would play 45 minutes. I am not sure he needs any more games. Rio is a naturally fit lad.

"Today was about distances and getting tighter to the ball. Now he is available for selection again."

Wednesday's match, which was goalless when Ferdinand departed but ended in a 2-1 win to United, also saw midfielder Anderson play a full 90 minutes as he recovers from a cruciate operation.

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 2 September 2010

Latest Forum Comments

Have your say on Rio poised for return in the United Online forum

i have no doubts that if Rio had played a few more games last season we would ahve won the league. IF Vidic and Rio stay fit all season then imo we are favourites this year. they are both that solid and give us such a massive platform to attack from.

- birchy

Great news if he can get back in form quickly. Jonny Evans does a good job filling in at the back but I think it might be a few seasons before he provides the solidity and consistency at the back that the Vidic/Ferdinand partnership provide when they're playing at their best.

- Dave