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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

No toe woe for Rio after United all-clear

Rio Ferdinand has been cleared to link up with the England squad for their Euro 2008 double-header with Andorra and Macedonia.

It was feared the 28-year-old had broken a toe in Manchester United's Premiership win over Watford on Saturday and would therefore miss Steve McClaren's first competitive game in charge of the national side.

However, a scan yesterday suggested there was only bruising rather than a break and further examination this morning has left United's medical staff able to pass Ferdinand onto their England counterparts.

The news will be a major boost for McClaren, who faced the prospect of having to re-jig his defence for the Andorra and more hazardous Macedonia games.

Although the former West Ham player will still need his fitness assessed before being given the all clear to start Saturday's Old Trafford encounter, United are much more relaxed about the situation now McClaren is in charge.

Confirmation that Ferdinand will not be out of action for up to six weeks, as had been feared, also represents a real boost for United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

United have started the season on top form, as they currently head the Premiership after winning their first three games.

But Ferguson has been only too aware his side made a similar start 12 months ago, only to see their hopes of challenging Chelsea undermined by a series of long-term injuries, which so far this year they have managed to avoid.