6 Jun 2010

Ferdinand out, Drogba in serious doubt for World Cup

10:32 am on 6 June 2010

England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of the football World Cup in South Africa after suffering a knee injury in training.

Ivory Coast captain and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba's also likely to miss the World Cup with a fractured elbow suffered in a friendly against Japan.

The 31-year-old Ferdinand sustained the injury in the final minutes of England's first major training session in South Africa and later hobbled out of hospital on crutches. The Football Association says the defender will be out of action for four to six weeks.

The uncapped Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson's flying to South Africa as a replacement while Liverpool skipper Stephen Gerrard will now captain the side.

The 32-year-old Drogba, the captain and a talismanic figure for the Elephants as well as the Blues, went down under a heavy challenge after 15 minutes of the warmup in Switzerland.

He was taken to hospital and a team source says he's fractured his elbow, although there's no official confirmation from Ivorian officials.