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Man Utd's Ferdinand hands Fergie new headache

United can ill afford to lose Ferdinand for long with fellow centre-back Nemanja Vidic out for three weeks and some crucial matches coming up in the Premier League and Champions League.

Ferdinand limped off during the match and left the stadium with his foot in a plastic case, as a precaution.

Ferguson said: "Hopefully it's not serious with Rio but he was limping for too long.

"The danger was to keep carrying on with him when he was limping he was not playing at his full performance level."

It looks unlikely that Ferdinand will play in the Champions League second leg against Roma, especially with Gerard Pique impressing Ferguson as a replacement for the England defender.

"Pique came on and did absolutely terrific, he was absolutely marvellous and I think that helped us actually," added Ferguson.

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