The surprising news that Rio Ferdinand has returned to training has been greeted with delight by team-mate and central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic.
Ferdinand has been plagued by injuries over the last 12 months and was forced to miss the World Cup after suffering knee ligament damage in the build-up to the tournament. His latest setback was expected to keep him out of action until the end of September, but Sir Alex revealed on Friday that he has made an unexpected early return to training.
Vidic is looking forward to linking up with his defensive comrade in the not too distant future and he hopes the pair are in line for a prolonged run of games together.
“Rio has been training with us and I’m glad he is feeling good again,” the Serbian told ManUtd.com. “He was very unlucky with injuries last season; I hope he’ll be fitter and stronger this season because he’s a very important player for us.
“It’s strange that we haven’t started many games together in the last year or so, but we’ve both had injuries so that’s stopped us playing regularly.
"We've played alongside each other for over four and a half years so it’s easy to play together, even when you’ve been out for a while. We’ve shown over the years that, as a partnership, we have a good relationship, but we obviously need to reach the right form and you need to play every week to get that. Hopefully we can.”
Nemanja was talking to ManUtd.com, PA Sport, Key 103 and BBC Radio.