United call Ferdinand home for treatment

Rio Ferdinand will fly home after England's opening World Cup match against the United States on Saturday at the request of Manchester United, who want the defender to begin a rehabilitation program on the knee injury that has ruled him out the tournament in South Africa.

Ferdinand had been told by Fabio Capello that he would be welcome to stay at the squad's Royal Bafokeng training camp for the entire tournament but United's medical department have told him to come back so they can assess his injury. The club have agreed that he will be able to return to South Africa later in the tournament if his rehabilitation allows it.

Yesterday, speaking for the first time about his injury, Ferdinand described how the injury was a "freak" occurrence that took place when he challenged for the ball with Emile Heskey on Friday. "It was a complete freak accident," Ferdinand said.

"The ball came in from one of the lads to Emile [Heskey], I went in to tackle him from behind. He didn't actually see me coming and we were both off-balance and Emile's weight just went down on my knee. It was no fault of his.

"It is disappointing but I've kind of come to terms with it now. The first night was a pretty long night, going over what could have been, the emotions at not being able to play and represent your country in the World Cup. But after that I think I kind of just got up and you just think to yourself that you have to get on with it.

"There's a lot more people worse off than I am. I'm not dying and I'm not never going to be able to play football again, so hopefully I'll be able to come back and do some good rehab and I'll be fit and that's what I'll concentrate on now, doing some good rehab.

"I'll be honest with you, I was in hospital waiting for my scan and I kind of knew I wasn't going to be able to play in the World Cup even then. I was just waiting to get it confirmed. A guy was wheeled in almost half-dead after a car accident so I got a good sense of perspective there straight away really. Things like that, so you look at that and think, 'Well I'll be able to play football again', so it's not all doom and gloom."

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

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue