World Cup heartbreak for England captain Rio Ferdinand

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England captain Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the World Cup on Friday after suffering a knee ligament injury in the team's first full training session in South Africa.

The 31-year-old sustained the ligament damage to his left knee after tackling Emile Heskey and catching his studs in the turf.

He was helped from the training pitch in obvious discomfort and was taken by ambulance to the Netcare Ferncrest Hospital in nearby Rustenburg to undergo a scan.

Doctors later confirmed he had sustained damage to his medial ligaments and, while the FA did seek out a second opinion, it subsequently conceded the player had been ruled out of the tournament.

A statement on the FA's official website read: "England captain Rio Ferdinand today suffered a left-knee ligament injury in training.

"Further to a scan arranged by the England medical staff immediately after training on Friday afternoon, Rio has been ruled out for 4-6 weeks and will therefore unfortunately miss the World Cup."

Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson flew out to South Africa on Friday night as Ferdinand's replacement, while Steven Gerrard was confirmed as the new captain.

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