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The England international defender is said to be on course to recover from a calf injury in time to face Barcelona in Rome on Wednesday...

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has dropped a huge hint that Rio Ferdinand will be fit to start against Barcelona in the Champions League final on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old has missed the Red Devils last four fixtures after picking up a calf problem in the Champions League semi-final second leg away to Arsenal on May 5.

It was thought that the England international defender might have played against Hull City on Sunday in order to boost his match fitness ahead of the trip to Rome.

However, Ferdinand did not feature against the Tigers, with some suggesting that this would rule him out of Wednesday’s clash with Barcelona, however, Ferguson has allayed those fears.

"Rio is coming along fine," Ferguson is quoted as saying by UEFA.com following the 1-0 Premier League win over Hull on Sunday.

"He trained on Saturday and today with the other players who were also training. I think he's on course to play on Wednesday."

The Scottish tactician also revealed that fellow defenders Rafael and Wes Brown both sustained slight knocks against the Tigers. Both are expected to be available for the midweek showdown.

"I took Rafael off [as a precaution] and we'll get him checked on Monday, but hopefully he'll be OK," Ferguson remarked.

"Wes got a little knock, but given that it was his first game back after so long out we're thankful he's come through well overall."

Ricky Brooks, Goal.com

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