Ferdinand to miss Manchester United trip to Chelsea
Rio Ferdinand is facing an extended period on the sidelines as Manchester United try to get to the bottom of his latest injury concern.
Ferdinand has already been ruled out of Sunday's Premier League showdown with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after failing to recover from a calf injury that has been plaguing him for a couple of weeks.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson now fears the injury may be related to a lower back complaint.
"There has been no improvement," said the United boss.
"We are having to look at something different because usually you are back from a calf injury within two or three weeks.
"But there is no sign of recovery from this injury so we are looking at whether it is to do with his lower back."
The injury is bound to rule Ferdinand out of England's high-profile friendly against five-time World Cup winners Brazil in Qatar next week, as well as raising long-term fears for the player, who will celebrate his 31st birthday tomorrow.
Ferdinand has featured in only four out of England's last 11 internationals and, although Fabio Capello's men are not due to play again until March, it is bound to be a concern given the central defender's importance to the Three Lions.
With Gary Neville also out through suspension, Ferguson is shorn of a large dollop experience for the Chelsea encounter.
However, there is some good news, with Nemanja Vidic ready to return after his own calf problem while Dimitar Berbatov is expected to recover from a knee injury.
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Latest in Sport
Mesut Ozil reveals he really is the Superman at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere is Batman and don't make Lukas Podolski angry - it's the Arsenal Christmas Party
Transfer news: Liverpool - January transfer targets
Missing out on Tottenham job was a 'close shave', says Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
The most underrated players in the Premier League
Transfer news: Chelsea - January transfer targets
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend