Ferdinand realistic about peak return

Rio Ferdinand has admitted it could be another five games before he gets back to his peak.

The Manchester United defender has finally recovered from the knee injury that wrecked his World Cup, turning in a typically stylish performance in Tuesday’s disappointing goalless draw with Rangers.

Ferdinand is expected to keep his place for Sunday’s high-octane north-west derby clash against Liverpool, when he should get the chance to resume his central defensive partnership with Nemanja Vidic and find out whether Sir Alex Ferguson views him as the successor to Gary Neville as captain.

But while the 31-year-old is hoping to speed up the acclimatisation process, he is wary of how long it will take to find top form again.

“I don’t know how long it will take me to get back to my peak,” he said.

“I have never been out and doing nothing for this length of time.

“From what I gather it is normally up to six games before players see the best of themselves. Fingers crossed I can do it in two.”

This year will not be remembered with any affection by Ferdinand.

His appearance against Rangers was only his 14th in a United shirt so far this year and whilst he did play twice for England at the end of the season, the freak accident he suffered in a collision with Emile Heskey on the first day of World Cup training wrecked his dream of appearing in South Africa.

Not that Ferdinand is spending too long worrying about that.

“I have got over the frustrations of the injury,” he said.

“I am trying to look forward and hoping to play some part in the games we have coming up.”

The same is also true of Wayne Rooney after his recent problems in his private life.

For Antonio Valencia though, there is only a painful period of rehabilitation ahead following an operation to mend the ankle he broke against Rangers.

United are yet to offer their prognosis on the South American, although the Ecuador camp believe their number one player will be out for at least six months.

“After arriving from Wigan he had a great first season and was looking to push on this year. That is why the injury is a real blow,” said Darren Fletcher.

“He is a strong character and a good lad. He has real determination and works hard. He will have a long future at Manchester United.”

More in this Section

TV View: Harsh proof you don’t always get what you fought forTV View: Harsh proof you don’t always get what you fought for

Four decades of Danish pain continuesFour decades of Danish pain continues

Irish trio still in contention for card as Dawson misses cutIrish trio still in contention for card as Dawson misses cut

We’re gutted, Stevens admits as best proves not enoughWe’re gutted, Stevens admits as best proves not enough


Tis the season for sequins and excess, but minimalists can stick to their style guns in the season’s next level neutrals. From low-key glitz that’s perfect for party wear to the wardrobe heroes with trans-seasonal appeal, slide into neutral for maximum style with minimal effort. Carolyn Moore reports.Low-key glitz for minimalists with this season's neutrals

How to plump, hydrate and get rid of spots fast before your Christmas party.Getting your quick fix for the festive party season

Irish photographer Seamus Murphy brought music star PJ Harvey to Afghanistan to film part of their documentary, writes Esther McCarthy.Headlong into the war zone in new documentary

Kya deLongchamps shows us how to champion our environmentWinter greens: How to champion our environment this season

More From The Irish Examiner