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Ferdinand "a month away from fitness," says Fergie

Defender Rio Ferdinand is still a month away from returning to action, according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The England captain has spent the last two months recovering from the knee ligament injury which ruled him out of the World Cup.

Ferguson revealed on July 25 that the 31-year-old would not be back in action for six weeks, ruling him out of the start of the new Premier League season and making him a major doubt for England's opening two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria on September 3 and Switzerland four days later.

That estimation now looks to have been slightly optimistic.

"Rio is nowhere near, no. He's doing little bits of jogging and things like that but I think he's a month away," Ferguson told the Sunday People.

"We always anticipated it would take time. It's a knee ligament and, although it wasn't what you'd call a serious one, it was a hard one. You have to take time with knee ligaments."

The Scot added: "Rio has had a bad 12 months and we hope it gets better for him. You hope the break over the summer with missing the World Cup will help him.

"The back injury seemed to sort itself out as the season went on, then he had the groin injury. He's had a succession of these things and you don't want to see that when a player is in his 30s."

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