Despite being ruled out until the end of September last week, Rio Ferdinand has surprised everyone at Carrington by returning to training.
A knee ligament injury, suffered in the build-up to the World Cup, was expected to keep Ferdinand sidelined for the next few weeks. But he has made siginificant strides forward in the last few days much to the delight of his manager.
Rio Ferdinand’s trained this week, which is a big surprise to me,” Sir Alex told his pre-West Ham press conference. “He’s made fantastic progress in the last week or so.
“I must admit, he hadn’t done anything, football-wise, when I spoke last week. I think when he read what I said, it maybe gave him a kick. He came in, trained this week and he’s done fantastic, really good.
“He’ll train with the Reserves today and won’t be involved tomorrow, of course, but we’ll just have to try and think when we can maybe get a game with him in the next two weeks. He’s that close. You have to be aware of knee ligament injuries, but at the moment everything’s been fine.”
The manager also confirmed Wayne Rooney’s availability for Saturday’s clash with West Ham, and voiced his admiration for the efforts and endeavours of Anderson, who is well down the road to recovery after cruciate knee ligament damage.
“Anderson’s training with the first team, which is great,” said Sir Alex. “He played a bit with the Reserves on Tuesday. That’s really good news.
“You’ve got to be aware that, although he’s played a part of the game on Tuesday , he’s been out for a long time and we have to monitor his progress carefully. But he’s keen – he trained on Wednesday, the day after the game, actually – which shows his enthusiasm he’s got.”