Date: 8th September 2008 at 7:24pm
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Rio Ferdinand came through today’s England training session unscathed – good news. He will probably be playing in Croatia – not good news.

Of course, England’s chances are significantly boosted by Rio’s availability. And if it were a simple muscle strain that kept him out of the Andorra game I would have little complaints.

And complain I won’t as I understand he wants to play but these back problems can be almost as annoying and recurring as knee injuries of which we have plenty of experience – just think of Solskjaer and Hargreaves, the two most recent victims.

I’m afraid that he might overexert himself in Zagreb which will lead to a recurrence of his injury which could be disastrous not for England but for United as we have to face Liverpool, Villarreal and Chelsea in seven days’ time…

It is of course vital that we have Ferdinand available for these games. So I would be much, much more relaxed if Joleon Lescott were to get the job in Zagreb.