RIO FERDINAND will not play for Manchester United again this year.
The England centre-back has been told he needs another six weeks of rest and physio work before his back will be strong enough for Premier League football.
Ferdinand, 31, had been playing with back problems since last season - leading to a calf injury this term.
After a series of poor displays he decided to get the problem sorted out for good.
Rio had hoped to be back by the start of December. But by the time he plays again, he will have missed at least 15 matches.
United's medical staff have been baffled by his constant injury problems.
One theory being looked into now is that he might need his hip realigned.
If the hip is slightly out it will lead to strain on other parts of the body, including his back.
Ferdinand's last game for United came in the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on October 25 when he was out-run and out-muscled by Fernando Torres for the opening goal.
At least there was good news for United boss Alex Ferguson about Ferdinand's defensive partner Nemanja Vidic.
Vidic is ready to start against Everton on Saturday after coming through Serbia's 1-0 win over South Korea unscathed.
Vidic missed United's 1-0 defeat by Chelsea 11 days ago with a calf injury but played 60 minutes of yesterday's international at Craven Cottage.
United's Korean midfielder Park Ji Sung also played an hour as he continues his recovery from a knee problem.
Source: The Sun
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