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Injured trio worry Sir Alex

Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping time will be a healer for three of his first-choice stars as he prepares for Sunday's FA Cup third round blockbuster against Liverpool.

While the Merseysiders are having a miserable season by their standards, the United manager will still want all his aces available for the big game. That might not be possible, based on what the boss told MUTV on Tuesday night.

"The three of them are a bit of a worry," said Sir Alex, referring to Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Sar - all absent from the squad to face Stoke City.

"We’re hopeful we can get at least two of them ready for Sunday."

If Ferdinand is the odd one out, then at least the boss will be buoyed by Chris Smalling's first league start against Stoke - "he was magnificent, he did really well" - and the form of Jonny Evans on the training pitch.

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