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Rio to remain at home

Ferdinand to focus on fitness for new season

By Mike Barton.   Last Updated: 17/06/10 3:29pm

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Ferdinand: No South Africa return

Ferdinand: No South Africa return

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Rio Ferdinand will not be returning to South Africa to watch the England team in the World Cup.

The 31-year-old, who was due to captain the side for the tournament, suffered knee ligament damage ahead of their opener against the USA meaning he would not play any part in the campaign.

Ferdinand relinquished the armband to Steven Gerrard and watched the 1-1 draw in Rustenburg from the sidelines before returning to Manchester to receive treatment on the injury he suffered in an innocuous challenge with striker Emile Heskey during a training session.

It was thought that the Manchester United defender would go back to South Africa to support in a non-playing role following his treatment; however the club's medical staff at Carrington has ruled that possibility out.

Good progress

Ferdinand will instead go on a short break with his family before turning his attention to be fit for United's opening game against newly promoted Newcastle on 14th August.

"Rio has been assessed by club medical staff at Carrington this week and is making good early progress from his knee injury," said a statement released by United.

"Medical staff have advised a two-week recuperation period with his family before returning to Carrington to complete the rehabilitation process."

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