New Delhi :England captain Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of the World Cup with knee injury that he sustained during a training session on Friday.
The 31-year-old center back was injured while defending against striker Emile Heskey during England's first full training session in South Africa, barely a week before England's opener against the United States in Rustenburg on June 12.
Ferdinand immediately went to the Netcare Ferncrest Hospital for scans and he later left the building on crutches, going into an ambulance marked
Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, who was cut from the preliminary 30-man squad on Tuesday, was put on standby as a possible replacement for Ferdinand. Under FIFA rules, players can be replaced up to the day before the opening game.
In Ferdinand's absence, Matthew Upson or Ledley King, who has chronic knee problems, would likely take his starting spot in central defense alongside John Terry.