Although Ferguson said he did not expect the 30-year-old to feature, he stopped short of saying Ferdinand would definitely miss the game and the defender remains in the squad.
The Scot has been known to talk pessimistically about certain players' chances of featuring as a psychological ploy before picking them for big games.
He said: "Most of the players will be okay and we can bring some fresh faces in but Rio, no, I don't think so."
Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes all return for the European tie after the suspended trio sat out the victory over Villa.
Park Ji-Sung is also likely to come back into the starting line-up, while Ferguson will make a late decision on the fitness of Ryan Giggs.