Manchester United defender Rio Ferninand will return and star for the Red Devils in the future, according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Rio has got plenty of years ahead of him,” Ferguson told reporters.
“He’s had a few injuries in the last few years, which I am sure is a concern, but he’s still capable of coming back and playing at the top level.”
The Scot said Ferdinand is still hungry to get back into the action of top flight football, and is looking to other Manchester United greats for inspiration to recover and return to full strength.
“He only needs to look at the example of Gary Neville and he sees that. He wants to play, he’s desperate to get back.”
Ferdinand currently has a calf injury which has sidelined him from February. The United boss believes the injury stems from a back strain, which the defender sustained when United played in Japan in December’s Club World Cup.
The injury was first thought to keep Ferdinand out for four weeks, but the 32 year old didn’t return on schedule. The medical team at Old Trafford are still trying to decipher why his injury isn’t recovering at a normal rate.
Ferguson admitted that Ferdinand might well be out for the remainder of the season while he recovers.
"It looks to me as if we will be lucky to get him back for some point of the season," Ferguson said.
Ferdinand’s mental strength has always been very influential over the Manchester United players, and his presence on the field is sorely missed at Old Trafford.
Ferguson moved to assure fans that Ferdinand’s injury is not going to cause him trouble in the long term, despite the fact that he might not play for the rest of the season.
“He’s just unlucky this injury is lasting too long,” the United manager said.