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
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor