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Things don’t get any easier for Middlesbrough, who are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table, as Man Utd are next up for Gareth Southgate’s team.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is sweating on the fitness of defender Rio Ferdinand after the defender was forced to leave the pitch during Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Ferdinand picked up a rib injury during the closing stages of the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final at Old Trafford after being clattered by Edwin van der Sar.

The England international was taken from Old Trafford in an ambulance to undergo further tests to discover the extent of the injury.

United boss Ferguson admits that, if X-rays show any broken ribs, then Ferdinand is likely to be sidelined for several weeks.

“He’s got a crack right on the ribs,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.

“It’s just precautionary and, obviously, we hope it’s nothing broken because if you get a rib injury then he’d be out for two or three weeks.

“We will have to wait and see, and we just have to wait on the results.”

Things don’t get any easier for Middlesbrough, who are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table, as Man Utd are next up for Gareth Southgate’s team.

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