Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is facing what he describes as “the toughest battle of his career” as he bids to regain fitness for next week’s Champions League final against Barcelona.
Ferdinand has missed three games with a calf injury and has been told he must prove his fitness against Hull on Sunday to have any chance of playing.
“It’s perhaps the most important injury battle of my career,” he said ahead of next Wednesday’s clash in Rome.
“I’ve not thought about not playing in the final. It’s as simple as that.”
Ferdinand last played for United in the Champions League semi-final, second-leg victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on 5 May, shortly before suffering his calf injury in training.
If Ferdinand is not fit for the game against Barcelona next week, his place in the team is likely to go to Jonny Evans.
However, 30-year-old Ferdinand said he was so preoccupied with his injury, he has given little though to the final.
“I trained with the ball on Wednesday and did some running, so I’m doing all the movements I need to be doing before a game,” he said.
“I haven’t even thought much about the actual details of the final. I’ve been so engrossed in my injury that I haven’t thought about much else.
“I’ll start thinking about the actual match when I’m sitting on the plane to Rome.”
“You’ll have to ask the manager if I’m playing, but physically I’d be able to do it, no problem.”