Rio Ferdinand could finally make his long-awaited return from injury, and feature for Manchester United against Stoke City this weekend, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferdinand has been suffering on-going problems with a calf strain, and has only played two out of five games for the Red Devils this season.

But Ferguson says he wants Ferdinand to be fighting fit this weekend, as United travel to the Potteries in the hopes of keeping their undefeated run alive.


“I’m hoping Rio will be okay for Saturday,” Ferguson told the official United website. “When you go to Stoke you need a bit of experience.

“Rio came into the team when we played at Bolton and gave us that experience, so we hope he'll be fit for Saturday."

Ferdinand has made over 200 appearances for United since joining from Leeds in 2002. The 32-year-old will provide much needed back-up for a younger squad as they aim to win at fortress Britannia Stadium.

Ferguson can be confident in the fact that United have won every match their since Stoke were promoted in 2008, but the manager will still be taking no chances as he makes the call on Ferdinand’s return.

Chris Smalling is a doubt for the clash, with the young defender leaving the pitch early against Chelsea after suffering a groin injury.

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