Rio Ferdinand has given Sir Alex Ferguson another defensive headache after leaving Sunday´s 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough with his foot in a protective case.

Ferguson can ill-afford to lose Ferdinand for long, with fellow centre-back Nemanja Vidic out for three weeks and some crucial matches coming up, including Arsenal at home and a visit to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

"I hope it´s not serious with Rio, but he was limping for too long," said Ferguson.

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