David Beckham will miss playing in a fourth World Cup after tearing his left Achilles tendon during AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Chievo.
The 34-year-old was carried away on a stretcher and will today fly to Finland for specialist surgery.
‘We have to wait for the results of the scan but it looks like he is out of the World Cup,’ said Fabio Capello in a statement.
‘I spoke with him after the game on Sunday night to offer my support, as did Franco Baldini.
‘David is a great professional and has worked very hard to be ready for the World Cup, so missing it will be a big blow.’
The midfielder will almost certainly not be fit for the tournament, which starts in South Africa on 11 June.
‘It's such a serious injury, he'd have been better off to have broken a bone’ said Ellie Steele, a sports therapist.
The footballer suffered a similar injury in 2006, during England’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal. But he recovered in time to play for Real Madrid in their first game of the Spanish season eight weeks later.
However, this time the injury is much more serious said Dr Orava, who gave a bleak outlook of hopes him returning in time for the World Cup.
‘To start kicking and playing football will take about three months,’ he stated.
‘For maximal performances and maximum kicks and jumps, maybe it takes one month more, three to four months before one is able to do light playing.
‘We will have to see whether the tendon is completely severed, partly severed, or something in between. His recovery will depend on what kind of an injury this is, but it will likely take several months before it is completely healed.’
The former Manchester United star was bidding to become the first England player to feature in four successive World Cup finals.
‘Capello's not stupid, he knew there was a role for Beckham within the squad and this is a massive blow.’ former England defender Martin Keown told BBC Radio 5 live.
‘He's going to be out for six months, he needs to now look at rescuing his career and what's left of it.’
‘He'll be extremely upset, without doubt. I think tonight is a very sad day for the Beckham family.’
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