Ferdinand, Neville injury doubts for England

June 23, 2006

BUHLERTAL, Germany, June 23 (Reuters) - England defenders Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand missed training on Friday, two days before their World Cup second round clash with Ecuador.

Neville picked up a calf injury in training on June 14, the eve of their 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago, while Ferdinand came off during Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Sweden due to a groin problem.

Neville spent the first 15 minutes that were open to the media on Friday in the massage/physio tent at their Buhlertal training ground. An FA spokesman said the right back would later do some running.

Ferdinand was down for field work all session, separate from the rest of the squad.

Neville looks almost certain to miss Sunday's game, while Ferdinand is a doubt that could mean a major re-shuffle for coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Jamie Carragher, usually a central defender, has been deputising for Neville at right back but could be needed in his favourite position if Ferdinand is ruled out.

That would leave Owen Hargreaves, usually a holding midfielder, to play at right back - a role he has filled in the past, most recently in their 2-1 defeat by Belarus in a 'B' international on May 25.