Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba has undergone a successful operation on his fractured elbow although his team did not say whether he would be able to play at the World Cup. The 32-year-old striker was injured during Friday's 2-0 friendly win over Japan.
If Drogba, who have scored 43 goals in 67 appearances and Premier league top scorer this season with Chelsea, misses the World Cup it would be a huge blow to the Ivorians, who have been transformed from a middle-ranking team to a major force in African football since Drogba came on to the scene.
World Cup injury scares continued yesterday when Uruguay striker Diego Forlan appeared to injure his left foot during training. England defender and captain Rio Ferdinand and midfielders Michael Ballack from Germany and Michael Essien of Ghana have been ruled out of the month-long tournament that kicks off June 11 in South Africa.
And The Netherlands, among the favorites heading into this week's World Cup, arrived in South Africa on Sunday without Arjen Robben after the standout winger limped off the field less than three minutes from the end of his team's final warmup match the day before. Robben came on as a second-half substitute and scored twice in a 6-1 win over Hungary before hurting his left hamstring.
After an examination Sunday, doctors said the injury isn't as serious as originally feared and Robben is expected to join his teammates in South Africa sometime this week. The Netherlands opens group play June 14 against Denmark.
Earlier, Nigeria's midfielder John Mikel Obi was replaced after underwent a knee surgery in May and Italy's playmaker Andrea Pirlo is also out of the World Cup after injuring his left calf in an exhibition loss to Mexico, and not to forget England's David Beckham who suffered a major Achilles injury during AC Milan's Serie A encounter with Chievo in March, ending his hopes of featuring in a fourth World Cup.
Others on injury list - England's defender Matthew Upson (high temperature), Portugal's winger Nani (shoulder), Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar (back), American striker Jozy Altidore (right ankle), Brazil's left back Michel Bastos (ankle) and England's goalkeeper David James (knee), Honduras' midfielder Wilson Palacios (shin), Mexico's Rafael Marquez.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Posted at 11:55 AM