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Ferdinand not given up hope of returning for England

Rio Ferdinand has hinted he might return to South Africa for part of England's World Cup campaign - despite Manchester United expecting him to go on holiday. United released a pointed statement saying Ferdinand had been advised to spend a fortnight on holiday with his family before coming back to Manchester for more rehabilitation work on the injury he suffered on the first full day of training in South Africa following a freak collision with Emile Heskey.

However, on his Twitter site the 31 year old, responding to a direct question about whether he would be back in South Africa, appeared to contradict his club's stance.

"did u (sic) love being in south africa and will u (sic) come back?" was the question.

"Loved it (bar the injury moment) and yeah, am aiming to go back and support the lads!" came the response from Ferdinand.

However, if he sticks rigidly to the timetable United have laid down Ferdinand will be due at Carrington in a fortnight, which would mean him being back before the quarter-finals.

"Rio has been assessed by club medical staff at Carrington this week and is making good early progress from his knee injury," read the short statement released by United.

"Medical staff have advised a two-week recuperation period with his family before returning to Carrington to complete the rehabilitation process."

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