Ferdinand ruled out of World Cup
04-06-2010, 07:05 PM
Ferdinand ruled out of World Cup
England captain Rio Ferdinand will miss the World Cup after suffering a knee injury in the team's first training session in South Africa.
The 31-year-old has been ruled out for up to six weeks with ligament damage to his left knee.
Tottenham centre-back Michael Dawson is to fly out later on Friday as the replacement for Ferdinand.
Steven Gerrard will now take over from the Manchester United defender as England captain for the tournament.
"It is obviously bad news and everyone with the squad is very disappointed and sorry for Rio," said England manager Fabio Capello.
"It was an accidental injury in training, but had nothing to do with the pitch."
Ferdinand was sent to the Fearncrest Hospital in Rustenburg for a scan after suffering the injury late on in training in a challenge with striker Emile Heskey, described by Capello as "a normal tackle".
The defender was later seen emerging from the hospital on crutches, and a second medical opinion confirmed that he had no chance of featuring in South Africa.
His withdrawal from what would have been his fourth World Cup is a devastating end to an already disappointing season for Ferdinand, who, because of a back injury, had been restricted to only 13 Premier League starts for Manchester United and 21 appearances overall.
The centre-back had appeared to have overcome his injury problems when he trained with no setbacks at England's two-week World Cup training camp in Austria. He also came through the recent friendly victories over Mexico and Japan.
Dawson was the only centre-back dropped by Capello when he trimmed his 30-man training squad to the 23 for the tournament.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a fine season as Spurs finished in fourth place in the Premier League, but is uncapped at international level.
The Italian must now decide whether Ledley King, Jamie Carragher, Matthew Upson or Dawson should replace Ferdinand alongside John Terry at the heart of England's defence.
Capello made Ferdinand captain of England in February, having stripped Terry of the role following allegations that the Chelsea defender had an affair with the ex-girlfriend of former team-mate Wayne Bridge.
Ferdinand, who made his England debut back in 1997 as a 19-year-old, has 78 caps and has scored three goals for his country.
Friday had started on a more positive note for England, with the news that midfielder Gareth Barry - who had been a major doubt after suffering an ankle injury towards the end of Manchester City's season - trained with the squad.
"Gareth Barry is improving every day," said Capello.
"In the afternoon he is training in the gym with the physio and in the morning always with the team.
"He is not completely training with the team as we have to be very careful."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper David James sat out the training session after suffering a slight knee problem.
His injury is not thought to be too severe and is related to the 11-hour overnight flight from London to South Africa on Thursday.
England's World Cup campaign begins with their game against the United States in Rustenburg on 12 June.
CDev, proud to be a member of ManUnitedZone.co.uk since June 09
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