All I want for Christmas is… a fit defence? Well, I’d be disappointed! Despite Rio Ferdinand insisting that he will be back for the World Cup (glad to see he has got his priorities straight), it appears as though there isn’t actually a return date for our centre back.

Just last week Rio claimed: “The treatment on my injury is going well. It’s been quite slowly slowly but we’re getting there. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Yet today, the manager has a different opinion: “There is no light at the end of the tunnel and it is difficult to put a timescale on a back injury.”

The problem is, United don’t really seem to know what the problem is. It is a calf injury that has ruled him out since the Liverpool defeat but they’re supposed to clear up after a couple of weeks. So in November, they started to investigate whether there was a connection between his back injury and his calf problem, or whether his calf injury was something to do with his nerves.

The Guardian reported last week that Ferdinand was seeing a calf specialist regarding his injury, but today Ferguson has claimed it’s a back injury keeping him out of the team.

In other news, The Sun has today reported that Dimitar Berbatov is facing three months out with knee surgery required. Berbatov has apparently been playing through the pain on injections but will need to have the surgery at some point. The good news is that Bulgaria aren’t going to the World Cup, so there’s the possibility we could wait until the end of the season before booking him in.