Captain crocked for Egypt clash

Captain crocked for Egypt clash

Published Feb. 25, 2010 10:47 a.m. ET

Rio Ferdinand will miss England's friendly with Egypt next week with a back injury, according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The defender will miss next Wednesday's game at Wembley after feeling a twinge in his back before Tuesday's Premier League match against West Ham.

That came just three games into his comeback from a long-standing back complaint which kept him out for more than three months.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson immediately ruled Ferdinand out of Sunday's Carling Cup final and the 31-year-old also misses out on the chance of leading his country into their first game since John Terry was stripped of the captaincy.

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard would appear to be next on the list for Capello, who will be at Chelsea to watch their Premier League encounter with Manchester City - and the meeting between Terry and Wayne Bridge - on Saturday, with either Frank Lampard or Wayne Rooney acting as back-up.

Not that Ferguson is overly interested in Three Lions affairs.

He is more upset at losing Ferdinand to a back injury that has plagued him for 18 months just as Nemanja Vidic was returning to his starting line-up.

"It is a blow for us because I was looking forward to having Ferdinand and Vidic back on Tuesday," reflected the Scot.

"Unfortunately, it wasn't to be.

"You never know with back injuries and we have been through this before, but we don't think it is too serious.

"I don't think he will be fit for the AC Milan game but I don't think it will be long afterwards. We think he could be back in two weeks."

It has been suggested Ferdinand may come under pressure from his club boss to cut back on his international appearances in order to preserve his career.

Ryan Giggs took the same action with Wales and many observers feel the veteran wide-man's international retirement has been a contributing factor to his outstanding form in recent times.

Ferguson though insists the same situation does not apply with Ferdinand.

"I don't think we are at the stage where he should be concentrating on one part of his life in terms of international and domestic football," said Ferguson.

"That has never been any issue.

"I have never discussed it with him and I don't think he has ever thought about that himself."