FOOTBALL NEWS

“Rio had a back spasm again. We have to get to the root of this; he’s had this back problem too many times, so we want to get to the bottom of it."

– Sir Alex Ferguson
26/12/2008 15:34, Report by Nick Coppack

Rio's back in for treatment

Rio Ferdinand will miss Middlesbrough’s visit to Old Trafford on Monday after suffering a back spasm in the warm-up at the Britannia Stadium.

The centre-half was named in Sir Alex’s starting XI but was forced to withdraw shortly before kick-off.

Now Ferdinand is expected to miss the Reds’ next two fixtures.

“Rio won’t play against Middlesbrough,” Sir Alex confirmed after the match.

“He had a back spasm again. We have to get to the root of this; he’s had this back problem too many times, so we want to get to the bottom of it.

“First of all, we’ll give him complete rest, but I think he’ll be okay in about 10 days.”

United's FA Cup third round trip to Southampton on 4 January could come too soon for Rio, although he could return in time for the Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Derby County on 7 January. The Reds welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday 11 January.

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