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The Manchester United manager admits he is "surprised" that the 34-year-old has been included in Roy Hodgson's squad and is worried about the defender's fitness

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is concerned over Rio Ferdinand's inclusion in Roy Hodgson's England squad.

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The defender has been called up to the national side for the first time since June 2011 and is expected to play in the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

And Sir Alex admits he was as "surprised as anyone" when he heard the news and hopes England follow the specially designed treatment regime Ferdinand has undertaken this season.

"Obviously I was surprised as anyone when I heard that," the Scot told reporters.

"We need to speak to a doctor. We prepare Rio in certain ways, he has certain treatments he has to go through, the procedures have been the same all season which have given him a fantastic performance level when he's played for us.

"We have to consider that, and Rio has to consider that, and we'll see what the outcome is."

Ferdinand has been in impressive form for the league leaders this season and Sir Alex is wary about how many games his centre-back plays over a certain amount of days.

He addded: "He has to make sure he's going to be OK in terms of the number of games he plays. And that's a fact of life, we have been doing that for two years with the lad and it's worked.

"The way we've detailed his training programmes and giving him the treatments he needs for the various complaints he has in terms of his back and his groin and things like that, and so far it's worked very well, so we have to look at all these things before Rio decides."

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