England coach Fabio Capello has played down injury concerns surrounding Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand's place in Capello squad for next summer's World Cup is reported to be in jeopardy following his struggles with a long-running back problem.
The defender's appearances for the Three Lions under Capello have been sporadic, while he has missed the last eight games for United as the Premier League champions aim to get to the bottom of his niggling problem.
But speaking from South Africa ahead of Friday's World Cup draw, Capello insists that he is not unduly concerned by the 31-year-old's fitness problems at the moment.
"It is too early to start talking about Rio Ferdinand's fitness now. The World Cup is too far away," he said.
"Yes he has an injury, but I will give you an example from Italy.
"Look at Alessandro Nesta. He was injured for one whole year, now he's back for Milan, he is the best, and people are saying 'please come back into the national team'.
"Rio has been injured. I cannot say if he will be fit or not but I hope he is. He has told me a lot of times that he will be ready for the World Cup.
"But for me, it's not a worry if he's not fit in January. What matters is how he is in March or April. That is when it is important and that is when I hope the best England players will be fit."