England captain Ferdinand ruled out of World Cup

London: England captain Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of the football World Cup afer injuring his left knee in training at Rustenburg in South Africa, Friday.

The Manchester United defender broke down after a tackle in the final few minutes of his team`s first training session since landing in South Africa, and was taken to hospital for a scan.

A newspaper reported that scans are believed to indicate knee ligament damage and the 31-year-old will take no further part in the World Cup.

Michael Dawson, who was part of Fabio Capello`s initial 30-man squad, is the likely replacement, while Steven Gerrard will be promoted to the captaincy.

"In the last moment of the training, Rio suffered a problem with the knee. He has gone to hospital for a scan. We hope it will not be so bad an injury but we have Michael Dawson on call. It came from a minor tackle during the training. It happened in a normal tackle. It is his left knee. How bad is it? We will have to wait and see," Capello said.

Ferdinand had an injury-hit season at Manchester United, being laid low for considerable periods with back and groin problems.