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Page last updated at 20:10 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 21:10 UK

Ferdinand targets early comeback

Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand has played more than 300 games for United

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is hoping to be fit in time to play in his side's Premier League match at Tottenham on 12 September.

The defender, 30, was originally expected to be out for a month after suffering a slight tear in his thigh muscle during training two weeks ago.

He will miss England's World Cup qualifier with Croatia on 9 September.

"Hopefully the match after the internationals I will be fit so that's what I'm aiming for," said Ferdinand.

"I've been training really hard the last few days. I'm not where I want to be obviously on the pitch, but in a couple of weeks I'll be back on the pitch playing again."

The centre-back has already been forced to sit out his side's opening-day 1-0 win over Birmingham, their 1-0 defeat by Burnley and last Saturday's 5-0 win at Wigan.

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Ferdinand will also miss Saturday's home fixture with Arsenal, their last match before the trip to White Hart Lane.

The Premier League champions have struggled with injuries to key defenders at the start of the season with Ferdinand's regular centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic also missing the first two games of the season because of a calf injury.

Jonny Evans was also forced to come off before the end of the victories over Birmingham and Wigan as he continues to feel the effects of a long-standing ankle problem.

"At some point my ankle will need surgery," the 22-year-old said on Friday. "It is a problem that has been bothering me since Christmas.

"We thought it might have gone away over the summer but it is still there.

"Every now and again I catch it and it will be quite sore for a while. Then the pain dies off after a week or so."

After being left out of the squad for the win at Wigan, Brown - who appeared as a substitute against Birmingham and started against Burnley - is pushing for a recall to the starting XI against Arsenal.

The 29-year-old's pre-season was hampered by a thigh injury but he completing a reserve team match against Bolton on Monday.



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see also
Burnley 1-0 Man Utd
19 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd 1-0 Birmingham
16 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Netherlands 2-2 England
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Chelsea 2-2 Man Utd (4-1 pens)
09 Aug 09 |  Football
Ferdinand backs Vidic for award
25 Mar 09 |  Man Utd


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