Ferguson allays Rio fears

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has allayed fears that Rio Ferdinand could be out of action until Christmas with his latest injury problem.

The 31-year-old England defender has missed United's last four games with a long-running back problem which has plagued him for the past 18 months.

But following suggestions that Ferdinand requires a long period of rest to finally return to full-fitness, Ferguson has moved to explain the situation.

"With Rio, we've identified the problem but we're not putting a timescale on it," said Ferguson.

"But we hope he'll be back in a couple of weeks."

Meanwhile, Ferguson has admitted he is struggling for defenders ahead of Saturday's Premier League meeting with Everton.

"We're fighting hard to get (Jonny) Evans available," continued Ferguson."But he's not trained yet. We'll see how he goes today (Friday).

"We've a wee bit of patching up to do but hopefully we can get a back four out."

Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown and Patrice Evra are expected to be fit for the Old Trafford encounter, but Gary Neville is suspended following his red card in the Carling Cup last month.

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