Ferdinand boost for United and England
Rio Ferdinand gave a boost to Manchester United and England after coming through 27 minutes of Tony Carr's testimonial match at Upton Park. Ferdinand has been troubled by back and groin problems all season, which have restricted him to just 11 Premier League starts for United. The England captain made his return from three weeks on the sidelines as a late substitute in last weekend's victory over Sunderland. And Sir Alex Ferguson gave Ferdinand permission to continue his comeback tonight by honouring the man who gave him his introduction to professional football. Ferdinand partnered his brother Anton Ferdinand in the centre of defence for the West Ham Academy All-Stars and was untroubled in a game that never rose above pedestrian pace. "Rio rang me this morning at a quarter to nine to say he was heading to the train station to come down and that he could play 20 minutes," said Carr. West Ham consider themselves the Academy of Football and, as director of the youth set-up, Carr has overseen the development of seven current England internationals. With Chelsea able to wrap up the title this weekend, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and John Terry were not allowed to play but all three were present at Upton Park. Michael Carrick, whose wife has just had their second child, Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe sent their apologies along Fulham's pair Paul Konchesky, who was in Premier League action. Bobby Zamora was with the Fulham squad but did not play because of injury.
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