Calf injury troubling Ferdinand

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has again spoken up in defence of England central defender Rio Ferdinand.

The 30-year-old has been far from his best in recent weeks, with errors for both club and country coming under an intense media spotlight.

However, Ferguson has been resolute in his defence of Ferdinand.

He told reporters ahead of the Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow:"In my time here, we have always had one of our star players finding he gets criticised when he has a little blip.

"It seems to be part and parcel of being a player at Manchester United. We are all aware of that.

"No player likes to be criticised. We all like to be loved and want arms around our shoulders at times.

"But he will come out of it – there is no question about that. There is no discernible depreciation in his qualities, none at all."

Ferguson believes that a niggling calf problem is behind Ferdinand's dip in form, adding:"Playing with injury is not the easiest thing to do and we are trying to get it right. Calf injuries can be troublesome.

"If you don't arrest it and give it proper treatment, then you can end up the way we are now, playing in games when you are not 100 per cent fit."

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