Ferdinand declared fit after United reserves outing

01 September 2010 11:30

Manchester United reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer declared Rio Ferdinand ready to make a first-team return after the defender came through Wednesday night's second string clash with Oldham.

It was the first time Ferdinand had been in action since he suffered a major knee ligament injury in a freak collision with Emile Heskey on the first day of World Cup training with England in South Africa.

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

- Crouch out of Euro 2012 qualifiers

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

Solskjaer moved quickly to dispel any fears that Ferdinand's premature departure was down to a recurrence of the injury.

For a player who has struggled badly for fitness over the past two years, during which he has missed 15 England games alone, Ferdinand is desperate for an injury-free run. And Solskjaer confirmed he is raring to go.

"There was no problem whatsoever," he said. "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.

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

Goalless when Ferdinand ended his contribution, United eventually emerged triumphant in a Manchester Senior Cup tie watched by Paul Scholes when Federico Macheda lashed home a superb left-footed strike in the latter stages to seal a 2-1 win.

Aside from the result and Ferdinand's return, Sir Alex Ferguson will doubtless be interested to learn of a full 90 minutes for Anderson, who is on his way back from a cruciate operation.

Source: PA