Rio tipped to return at Tottenham

LONDON - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand could return from injury in time for Saturday's trip to Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

The England centre-back has been sidelined with a thigh injury since the Community Shield defeat to Chelsea in August but has stepped up his recovery in training all week.

United manager Alex Ferguson also confirmed defenders Gary Neville, Fabio and Wes Brown are all available for Spurs but Ireland international John O'Shea is a doubt with a calf injury.

"We're better off than we have been for months, in terms of defensive options," Ferguson told the club website.