Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Rio’s Manchester United return can seal trip to Rome: Carrick

Michael Carrick is delighted England team-mate Rio Ferdinand will be around to aid Manchester United’s bid to reach the Champions League final tonight.

Sir Alex Ferguson feared Ferdinand would miss the second leg of United’s semi-final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium after coming off at Old Trafford last week clutching his ribs.

Those fears intensified when Ferdinand started coughing up blood in the home dressing room but it transpired the reaction was caused by a bruised lung suffered in collision with Edwin van der Sar. Ferdinand did miss Saturday’s win at Middlesbrough. However, he was able to train yesterday morning and no-one is more delighted than Carrick to see him fit for battle.

"Rio has grown," said Carrick of his former West Ham team-mate.

"He has the experience of playing at the top level for a number of years. Only certain players in the squad have the presence he has. It makes a difference when he is there."

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