Ferdinand makes World Cup fitness vow

Rio Ferdinand insists there is "no question" that he will be fit for next year's World Cup despite fears over his long-term fitness.

The Manchester United centre half has not played since the Red Devils' 2-0 loss at Liverpool in October thanks to a calf injury, which is linked to a previous back problem.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has denied that the defender's injury is long-term and believes he will soon be back in action for the defending Barclays Premier League champions.

England manager Fabio Capello has insisted that his 23-man World Cup squad will not include anyone who is not fully fit, raising doubts about the 31-year-old's prospects of going to South Africa.

Ferdinand has played only 12 internationals since Capello took over two years ago, but the former West Ham defender insists he will be ready to answer the Italian's call when he names his squad next summer.

"I'm confident I'll be fit. There's no question I'll be ready for next summer," Ferdinand told Press Association Sport.

Ferdinand has been seeing a specialist in London to try and speed up his recovery. No timescale has been set for his return to action but he is confident he will be back soon.

"It's the worst thing for a player to be injured and to be just watching your team, so I've been working hard in the gym to get fit," said Ferdinand.

"The treatment on my injury is going well. It's been quite slowly slowly but we're getting there.

"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's been a tough and long layoff for me because I have never been injured before."

United's defence has been ravaged by injury recently with Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, John O'Shea and Gary Neville all joining Ferdinand on the sidelines.

As a result Ferguson has had to field a makeshift back four on a number of occasions, the most obvious being for United's 3-1 Champions League win over Wolfsburg when midfielders Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick played in defence.

Despite their injury problems, United have conceded only three league goals since Ferdinand's last appearance.

He believes the performance of those filling in for him shows the strength and determination of the Manchester United squad.

"Michael Carrick's done a great job filling in at centre half, so has Darren Fletcher at right back so I'm glad for them. That's what Manchester United is all about, it's all about the team effort," Ferdinand said.

Ferdinand was speaking at the launch of his Live the Dream charity foundation in London last night.

"The foundations is a vehicle to reach out to young people and provide them with the resources they need to unlock their potential. The Live the Dream Foundation will help to change lives," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy