FOOTBALL NEWS

25/02/2011 10:09, Report by B Hibbs & G Thompson
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Rio out, Giggs returns

Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans will both be absent for United’s visits to Wigan Athletic and Chelsea, leaving Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic to continue their partnership at the centre of United’s defence.

Ferdinand and Evans are both likely to be fit for the trip to Anfield to take on Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool next weekend. But Sir Alex Ferguson will be encouraged by the recent performances of Chris Smalling, softening the blow of Ferdinand’s absence since the start of February.

For United’s visit to the DW Stadium on Saturday, the Reds could have Ryan Giggs and Michael Owen available for selecton.

Sir Alex told reporters on Friday: “Nothing much has changed on the injury front. We’re trying to get Ryan [Giggs] fit for the Wigan game, and Michael Owen is back training and could be available. Rio and Jonny Evans should both be back for Liverpool next weekend.”

On the more longer-term injuries, Ji-sung Park (hamstring), Anderson (knee) and Antonio Valencia (ankle) are all on course for March comebacks. “Ji-sung Park is still two weeks away,” added the boss.

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Injury update

Ryan Giggs - back v Wigan
Michael Owen - back v Wigan
Rio Ferdinand - back v Liverpool
Jonny Evans - back v Liverpool
Ji-sung Park - back in two weeks
Antonio Valencia - possibly back in two weeks
Anderson - back in three weeks

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