The Manchester United centre-half has seen his season disrupted so far by a niggling thigh injury he picked up while away on international duty.
He missed United's opening four games of the campaign as a result of the problem, while he was also forced to sit out England's crushing 5-1 victory over Croatia which booked their passage to next year's World Cup.
Ferdinand has been dogged by injury issues over the past 12 months, with a back complaint ruling him out for six weeks at the turn of the year.
The 30-year-old also came close to missing last season's UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona after picking up a calf injury in a semi-final success over Arsenal.
PessimisticIt appeared his injury issues had been laid rest when he returned to action against Tottenham last weekend, but picked up a groin problem during training this week and could now be missing for the eagerly-anticipated derby date with City at Old Trafford.
"It is a concern for us and something we could have done without," said Ferguson.
"He has one game back and picks up another injury when he really needs some games to get back to his maximum.
"We don't need to make a decision right away but he really has to do something positive in training to give himself a chance.
"We hope he is there though. We want all our big players for this particular game."