England captain Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of the World Cup after he was taken to hospital with a knee injury, according to reports.
The injury-prone 31-year-old central defender went into a tackle and fell badly in the final minutes of their first training session in South Africa.
The Daily Mail and The Guardian were among the newspapers reporting on their websites that the injury has ended Ferdinand’s hopes of participating at the tournament.
“More bad news – Rio suffered a knee problem and he has just gone to hospital for a scan. We hope it is not a bad injury but that is all we know,” England manager Fabio Capello said.
Ferdinand was later seen leaving the hospital on crutches.
Capello confirmed England had uncapped Michael Dawson “on stand-by” and the Tottenham Hotspur defender could fly out to South Africa as early as Friday night.