Rio poised for reserves comeback

The game at Stalybridge will take on far more significance than a

usual Manchester Senior Cup tie as it will represent Ferdinand’s

first game since he was injured in a freak collision with Emile

Heskey on the first day of training at the World Cup in South

Africa. Sir Alex Ferguson had stated that the 31-year-old would not

be fit to return until the end of September. However, at his weekly

press conference last Friday, Ferguson revealed his defender had

made a rapid recovery from the knee ligament problem and said he

would be finding a game for him during the international break. The

Oldham match represents a suitable opportunity and if Ferdinand

does come through unscathed he is expected to come into contention

for a first-team comeback at Everton on September 11, which

represents the start of a hectic week that also includes home games

against Rangers and Liverpool. Ferdinand will be joined in the

United line-up by Wes Brown, midfielder Anderson, who is also on

his way back from long-term injury, and Federico Macheda.