Rio Ferdinand completed 45 minutes in Manchester United Reserves’ 2-1 victory over Oldham Athletic last night as the England captain returns from a knee injury sustained at the World Cup. Ferdinand, 31, played in a strong reserves outfit that also included the returning Anderson, Wes Brown and Federico Macheda.
Reserves coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that Ferdinand is already ready for a recall to the first team, after completing the first half in the Manchester Senior Cup clash at Bower Fold, Stalybridge.
“Today was about distances and getting tighter to the ball. He is available for selection again,” said Solskjaer.
“Rio is always the same player. It is a while since he has played but he was still calm.
“He has got through an important 45 minutes, straight after two very hard training sessions yesterday and the day before so we are delighted with him.”
“It was always planned that he would play 45 minutes. I am not sure he needs any more games. Rio is a naturally fit lad.”
Sir Alex Ferguson can now select the defender for United’s visit to Everton on 11 September, before his side faces Rangers and Liverpool at Old Trafford. Midfielder Anderson and defender Brown could also be available for the fixtures as United’s injury list shortens.
Defender Brown played 90 minutes as he returns from yet another injury. The 30-year-old also completed a lifelong dream, partnering his brother Reese in defence, with the younger sibling replacing Ferdinand at half time.
Second half goals from Nicky Ajose and Kiko Macheda secured a 2-1 win for United.