Rio Ferdinand has played in just 8 of our 30 league games this season thanks to a bad back injury which has kept him out for months.

Our defender has today revealed he kept the extent of the injury from Sir Alex Ferguson but after letting Fernando Torres past him so easily at Anfield earlier this season, the boss called him in to his office to talk.

“The day after a game I would waddle into the club like a duck, bent over like an old hunchback,” said Rio. “I would be hobbling around, unable to train for four or five days. I would be OK to play the next game, but I must have missed 60-70% of training. If I’m honest, I didn’t make it clear to the gaffer and the club physios that my injury was that serious. I just had an incredible desire to play football and had never had to deal with an injury of this scale before. But I was summoned into the manager’s office after the Liverpool defeat. He told me: ‘Last season, Torres would not have scored that goal against you’. As soon as he said that, you sit up and take notice. When the manager tells you something like that it hits home. So we made a decision to rest it completely before I could return to the team.”