GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - APRIL 26: Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Manchester United at Veltins Arena on April 26, 2011 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)Manchester United's defensive holes thanks to a rash of injuries was more than evident Monday (Aug. 20) in a 1-nil loss to Everton away from home.
Thankfully the latter is possible to return on Sept. 2 when the Red Devils travel to St. Mary's Stadium to take on Southampton.
"Phil Jones has started training. Chris Smalling is long term. Rio, I think, will be ready for next week."
The Briton suffered a pre-season injury which prevented him from starting the 2012/13 campaign alongside his squad but his injury seems to be the least serious of all plaguing the Devils.
Jonny Evans is still recuperating from ankle surgey while the aforemention Jones and Smalling are still some time away from being 100 percent.
In the meantime, Antonio Valencia will continue to fill the right-back role, a position he took during United's preseason tour through South Africa, Asia and Europe.
But as Gene wrote earlier today, Nemanja Vidic is the only available center-back.