Rio fitness boost for United

10 March 2009 11:52
Manchester United have received a major boost in the build-up to Wednesday's Champions League clash with Internazionale following Rio Ferdinand's return to training. The England defender limped out of Saturday's FA Cup sixth round victory over Fulham with an ankle problem. Ferdinand's ankle was immediately placed in a protective cast and his appearance in the second leg of the last 16 tie was in doubt. But United have confirmed that the central defender resumed training on Tuesday morning and will start against the Italian champions alongside Nemanja Vidic should he suffer no reaction to the training session. Fellow defender John O'Shea also resumed training alongside Ferdinand despite struggling with an ongoing heel problem at Fulham. Meanwhile, Ferdinand has urged the United supporters in attendance against Inter to recreate the atmosphere from last season's Old Trafford semi-final victory over Barcelona. United are once again taking on a side at home in the second leg of a knockout tie having failed to score on away soil in the first meeting. "If the supporters can recreate that night against Inter then it's almost like a 12th man," Ferdinand told the United Review. "I remember what it's like coming here with West Ham and Leeds. Some of the opposing players might not have been to Old Trafford before and that kind of atmosphere can make a difference. "The Barca match was one of the best nights of football I've been involved in, in terms of atmosphere. The crowd were so loud. The general atmosphere and excitement was unbelievable before, during and after the game. It was fantastic. "Old Trafford's a great stadium anyway, with a lot of tradition and history, but when you go out there and the fans are going crazy, you can just see the passion and desire in the stands, willing us on to do well - it's a real inspiration to us all, definitely."

Source: ESA