England and Manchester United hit by Ferdinand injury scare

Fabio Capello looks set to plan for England's friendly with Egypt next week having to install yet another captain after Rio Ferdinand's latest injury scare.

Just three games into his comeback from a long-standing back complaint that kept him out for over three months, Ferdinand was forced to pull out of Manchester United's Premier League victory over West Ham at Old Trafford last night after feeling a twinge in his back.

Sir Alex Ferguson immediately ruled Ferdinand out of Sunday's Carling Cup final, which raises inevitable questions about the 31-year-old's chances of leading his country into their first game since John Terry was sacked.

Capello would almost certainly ask Steven Gerrard to do the job if Ferdinand does miss out, although in-form Wayne Rooney might also have a claim given he had the role for the defeat by Brazil in Qatar last November.

"He tweaked his back in training and he won't be ready for Sunday," said Ferguson.

"It is unfortunate for him that he's going to miss a couple of games.

"Rio has been training great too.

"There have been no mishaps at all. But when you get these twinges you can't take a chance."

If Capello went with Rooney, he certainly couldn't pick anyone in more confident mood at present.

Two headers for the 24-year-old last night took his tally to 27 this season, which is only 15 fewer than Cristiano Ronaldo managed in his stellar 2007-08 campaign.

"Everything he touches is turning to gold at the moment," said the Hammers chief.

"He is the kind of form that means every single opportunity can become a goal.

"I thought he had a normal game. But he scored two goals and he might have had another one, which tells its own story.

"Having a player like him helps any situation. One man cannot do it all on his own. But he can make a big difference."

Michael Owen added a third, his first goal since scoring a hat-trick against Wolfsburg in December, to seal a win that took United to within a point of leaders Chelsea and put them in good heart ahead of their Wembley encounter with Aston Villa on Sunday.

"We had to win," conceded Ferguson, who is now set to recall Darren Fletcher and Rafael amongst others.

"There will be changes on Sunday now.

"I have done that all along in the competition and I will have to look at the situation to make sure we have a fresh team."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?