England’s Rio Ferdinand to Miss World Cup

Injuries suck. Manchester United defender and England captain Rio Ferdinand injured his knee in training yesterday and left the hospital on crutches. That means that the 31-year-old is not going to play in the World Cup.

The 31-year-old centre-back had a scan after hurting his left knee following a challenge with Emile Heskey during Friday’s first training session.

He emerged from hospital on crutches and Tottenham’s Michael Dawson, who had been put on standby, is expected to fly to South Africa in the next 12 hours.

Vice-captain Steven Gerrard will step up to lead the side at the World Cup.

The news 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.

I’d like to say this is great news for the rest of the group (USA, Algeria, Slovenia), but it probably isn’t. Rio has had back problems before that kept him out for a significant part of the Premier League season. When he did play he was not in good form by any stretch of the imagination. As a Man Utd fan I don’t think he should be on the team for the upcoming season because of his injury problems. Michael Dawson has arguably performed better than Rio and it may end up being an improvement instead of a downgrade.

It’s unfortunate for Ferdinand but the health concerns are becoming a recurring problem. Luckily for him he’s not the only one who is getting injured in training or in friendlies. USA’s Jozy Altidore is day-to-day after spraining his ankle in training, while Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba is questionable for the World Cup after he hurt his arm. There are loads of friendly matches this weekend so it will be interesting to see who ends up biting the injury dust.

EDIT: Didier Drogba’s out as well with a broken right arm. Ouch. Brutal blow for the Ivorians. Guess I know who I’m picking to advance out of the Group of Death.

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