SAFETY FIRST

Rio Ferdinand refuses to sit during flight to Valencia in order to protect his flimsy back

Defender spends 2hrs on his feet to take strain off merked back

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Before we start, here’s an unbelievable stat – Rio Ferdinand has missed 61 of Manchester United‘s last 103 games. That must be very near, or even worse than, benchmark crock Ledley King?

Anyway the King of Merk had to stand up for almost the entirety of Utd’s two hour flight to Valencia yesterday, to prevent his knackered back suffering any more gyp.

It might not be as extreme a measure as it seems – mid-air injury is a genuine threat. Frank Lampard was laid up for weeks after picking up a hamstring problem during one of England’s cramped budget flights to Qatar.

According to The Sun, Rio is also required to take ‘a special booster seat’ wherever he goes to make sure his back is aligned properly.

How long has he got before he crumbles into a pile of dust?

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