Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gunners Blow as Ferdinand Recovers; Fergie Confirms United Star Should Be Fit for Second Leg of Euro Semi-Final at Emirates

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gunners Blow as Ferdinand Recovers; Fergie Confirms United Star Should Be Fit for Second Leg of Euro Semi-Final at Emirates

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES OLLEY Football Correspondent

MANCHESTER UNITED received a huge boost today as Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he is confident Rio Ferdinand will be fit in time to face Arsenal in Tuesday night's crunch Champions League showdown at Emirates Stadium.

The news got worse for the Gunners when Arsene Wenger confirmed that defenders Mikael Silvestre and Gael Clichy will miss the semi-final second leg through injuries while Robin van Persie is also extremely doubtful after struggling to shrug off his groin problem.

Ferdinand was taken off during United's 1-0 win in this week's first leg at Old Trafford with a suspected fractured rib.

United feared the England centreback could be sidelined for up to three weeks but Ferguson has revealed that further scans by the club's medical staff show that Ferdinand has just suffered severe bruising and no broken bones.

The news is a huge boost to United as they look to complete their assault on four trophies.

Ferdinand is expected to return to training on Sunday and will continue to undergo intensive treatment in an attempt to prove his fitness in time to line up against Wenger's men as the two rivals resume battle for a place in the final.

Ferguson said: "Nothing is cracked or broken. Rio has suffered heavy bruising and was coughing up blood.

It wasn't looking too good but, hopefully, we will be okay now. He's trying to get back to normal.

"When you see your captain down like that you fear the worst. But fortunately he should be okay. We will look to get him training on Sunday and have got a good chance of getting

Boost for United as Ferdinand is ready to play Boost for United as Ferdinand is ready to play him ready. Hopefully, the procedure we are putting him through at the moment will see him ready." Ferguson will replace Ferdinand with Jonny Evans when United face Middlesbrough tomorrow in what is expected to be an otherwise full- strength side. …

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