Rio's Problems Are Puzzling - And Worrying
Rio Ferdinand visited a specialist today in order to identify the source of his persistent back injury. However, the big man who was said to be fit for the Chelsea game but didn't make it is still not ready even though it is unclear what exactly the problem is with him.
"He's been to the specialist and there are no major problems with his back," Sir Alex told the official website. Great, then could we have him back in the side please? No.
"We think he'll be back for the Spurs FA Cup game. He'll have a series of exercises to do from now on and that will hopefully help things."
Oh. So we'll have to play Wigan, Bolton and Derby without Ferdinand AND Evra. Jonny Evans is excellent and his mature display against Chelsea was very, very encouraging but still, we are now in a promising position and it would be sickening if injuries pegged us back again.
And there's more to it. We can win against Bolton and Wigan without Rio, no question about that. But his persistent problem which has no apparent reason is worrying and reminds me of the Hargreaves situation: his tendonitis looked just fine at every check, the only minor problem being that he was unable to play. A major surgery was required to put that right and we won't see him again until next season.
Should a similar fate befall Rio Ferdinand our season would be in great danger. With Vidic being almost certain to get a ban, we could end up having to face Mourinho's Inter with a partnership of Evans and Brown. Good players, the former is a very promising one but it just doesn't look the same...