RIO FERDINAND will run out against Arsenal having been inspired in his comeback by regular dates with the doctor. But it was not because the Manchester United defender was ill. Ferdinand, 25, has instead been seeing a fitness expert known as The Body Doctor. The England colossus has astonished fans with the way he has performed at the top level, despite being out of the game for eight months because of his ban for missing a drug test.
Now comes his toughest test in the crunch clash with leaders Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday. During his suspension he had regular workouts with fitness guru Dave Marshall, whom he first met as a youngster at West Ham.
Ferdinand said: "It was a long road back and Dave drove me on to come back fitter. "He was always there when I needed him, making sure I was ready as soon as the ban was over. "I've already spoken about my manager Alex Ferguson and England boss Sven Goran Eriksson, who were extremely supportive.There were also my friends and family, who helped me enormously, and then there are people like Dave."
Ferdinand also used a motivational expert called Keith Power. He added: "Keith was a big help to me as well. "He was someone I talked to a lot and he helped keep my focus on the comeback. "He made sure I was always thinking positively."