United defender makes fitness vow

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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.

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.

"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.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand

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