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2010 FIFA World Cup: Ferdinand, Drogba Out of World Cup

Gareth Llewellyn-StevensCorrespondent IJune 4, 2010

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 04: Rio Ferdinand looks on during the England training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus on June 4, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

England captain Rio Ferdinand and Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba both sustained injuries today during their respective World Cup preparations leaving their World Cup in ruins.

Ferdinand injured his knee on the turn as Emile Heskey tried to spin him during training with the England squad in Rustenburg, and has since gone to hospital for a scan, despite the innocuous challenge, and will be out for four to six weeks.

Spurs' Michael Dawson, who missed out on a place in the final 23, will fly out to South Africa this evening to join up with the squad, while Liverpool's Steven Gerrard will take over from Ferdinand as captain.

Ferdinand started just 13 Premier League games for Manchester United last season, struggling to play twice a week, and his injury will be a blow to Capello with just eight days to go until the opening match against the USA.

Ferdinand later left the hospital on crutches, with no further news as to the extent of the injury, leaving a lot of members of the England camp and press very concerned.

Capello does have Ledley King, Jamie Carragher and Matthew Upson in the squad as an alternative, as well as Dawson.

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King is the obvious choice to replace Ferdinand, but could also struggle to play more than a game a week, leaving Carragher as the major alternative.

Drogba meanwhile went off in the first half of Ivory Coast's warm-up match against Japan. The Chelsea striker scored the opening goal of the game, before going off minutes later after colliding with Tulio Tanaka's knee.

Early reports from Switzerland suggested that Drogba has a fractured elbow and had been transferred to a local hospital for scans with the player already saying he's out of the World Cup, within an hour, the rumours were confirmed.

A fractured elbow, and Drogba is out of the World Cup.

Drogba was pivotal to the Elephants' bid to get out of Group G, with tough games against Brazil, Portugal and North Korea, and after winning the title with Chelsea as the Premier League's top scorer, he'd have been hungry for more success.

Drogba will become the fourth Chelsea player miss out on the World Cup after injuries to Jose Bosingwa, Michael Ballack and Michael Essien.

It's also a huge blow for African football and the World Cup to lose both Essien and Drogba at the first World Cup to be held in Africa.

After his exploits last season in the Premier League, I'm sure we'd all love to see him take part this summer, and look forward to seeing him again in the Premier League.

For Ferdinand, it's a sad end to what could have been a glorious summer with England, but he has the chance to work on getting fit for the new season, and hope his team mates can do it without him.

Update: 16:45

There are rumours floating out of Switzerland that Drogba has elected to have surgery on his elbow, and could still play a part in Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign.

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