The new England skipper suffered a knee-ligament injury at the end of training on Friday lunchtime on England’s first full day in South Africa.
He was immediately sent to a local hospital for a scan by manager Fabio Capello but the news has been bad enough to rule Ferdinand out of the entire tournament.
The FA confirmed the news, with Ferdinand expected to be sidelined until the middle of next month.
“Further to a scan arranged by the England medical staff immediately after training on Friday afternoon, Rio has been ruled out for four to six weeks and will therefore unfortunately miss the World Cup,” said a statement. “Tottenham Hotspur’s Michael Dawson has been contacted and will fly to South Africa on Friday evening. Steven Gerrard will lead the England team as captain in the tournament.”
On paper this is a big loss for England as Ferdinand gives the middle of the England defense some speed that will be needed against the U.S.
The flip side is that Rio has been injured for most of this year and there has been questions about fitness. Dawson played really well for Spurs this season and could step is a good replacement.