Fergie in a sweat after Ferdinand limps out of Fulham clash with ankle injury

08 March 2009 11:50
Manchester United are set to gamble on Rio Ferdinand's fitness and play the England defender in Wednesday's Champions League clash against Inter Milan at Old Trafford. Ferdinand was being assessed by United's medical staff yesterday after limping out of Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final win at Fulham. The 30-year-old turned his ankle and left Craven Cottage wearing a plastic boot to protect the injury. United confirmed Ferdinand had a slight swelling around the joint and manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'Rio's a bit of a concern. We just have to wait and see how he is. I just hope he makes Wednesday because he's such an important player to us.'

Injury worry: Ferdinand receives medical attention while team mate John O'Shea and referee Mike Dean

Ferguson will try to keep old rival Jose Mourinho guessing overFerdinand's fitness in the build-up to the second leg of the last 16tie the first leg finished goalless but the United boss isdetermined to field his strongest possible line-up against the Serie Aleaders and will want Ferdinand alongside Nemanja Vidic. Ferdinand has also been troubled by back problems this season, but onlylast week Ferguson spoke confidently of his first-choice pairingstaying intact for the rest of the campaign.  Andy Townsend: Can somebody please make it hard for Manchester United

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Jonny Evans has been an ideal replacement for both men and is onstand-by to partner Vidic against Inter, having deputised for the Serbwhen he was banned for the first leg at the San Siro two weeks ago. Assistant boss Mike Phelan said: 'I'm not a medical person, so I don'tknow if Rio will be fit for Wednesday, but Jonny Evans is more than asubstitute for Rio if he doesn't make it.'

Big presence: Ferdinand celebrates after Tevez puts United in front against Fulham

United also have a concern at right back after John O'Shea appeared toclutch his hamstring when taken off at Fulham. With Gary Neville,Rafael da Silva and Wes Brown all injured, midfielder Darren Fletchermay have to fill in if O'Shea is ruled out. Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Fernando Torres for RealMadrid's visit to Anfield tomorrow, with the Spain striker facing amake-or-break test on the ankle he injured in the first leg at theBernabeu. Torres had a light training session yesterday and will be put through his paces again today before a decision is made.

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Source: Daily_Mail