Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been told his back problems have not been cured.
It was reported that the groin twinge that the 31-year-old suffered at Blackburn a fortnight ago caused him to miss last weekend’s dramatic win at Manchester City but Ferdinand has trained well this week and certainly feels fit enough to return.
However, the bad news for Ferdinand — and indeed for England manager Fabio Capello — is that detailed examination of the injury has led medical experts to feel that it is directly linked to the lower back problems that have caused him so much anxiety this season.
Ferdinand missed a huge chunk of United’s winter programme after breaking down two months in to the season and continues to experience twinges and related problems.
He has already been told by specialists and indeed by Ferguson that he will have to manage his playing schedule carefully once the World Cup is over.
Gone, he has been told, are the days when he can expect to play every game.