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Drogba setback

Didier Drogba fractures elbow

June 4, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Didier Drogba has fractured his elbow in a friendly tie against Japan and has told team-mates he will not be able to play in the World Cup finals.

Didier Drogba hobbled off in considerable pain
GettyImagesDidier Drogba hobbled off in considerable pain

• Japan 0-2 Ivory Coast

Drogba had seen his free-kick deflect off Marcus Tulio Tanaka for the opening goal in the game in Sion but was injured following a challenge with the same player after 15 minutes, as the Japan defender's knee connected with his elbow.

Drogba left the pitch holding his right arm and it has been confirmed that the Chelsea striker has sustained a fractured elbow. Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure says his colleague will not be able to play in South Africa.

"For him, he said, the World Cup is finished," Toure said. "We can just see on his face that he was sad and when he is like that you can't ask more. It is difficult for us because he is such a really important player."

However, Ivory Coast are remaining optimistic about Drogba's condition before definitive medical results are available.

A statement read: "He was taken urgently to a medical centre in Sion, where X-rays revealed a fracture in the player's right forearm area.

"Didier Drogba's state of health is the object of all the attention of the Elephants' medical staff and of distinguished specialists. The Ivory Coast Football Federation stress that the striker Didier Drogba has not, for the moment, been ruled out of the 2010 World Cup.''

Drogba's absence would come as a huge setback to Ivory Coast coach Eriksson, who already has the daunting task of facing Brazil, Portugal and North Korea in Group G.

Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "It's an elbow injury. How bad it is, I don't know. He had a lot of pain. Of course I'm worried. He's captain and one of the world's best players.

"It was unlucky. It wasn't bad or stupid. He [Tulio] didn't want to hurt anyone. Football is a game of contact."

Drogba finished the season as top scorer in the Premier League after claiming 29 goals for Chelsea and is one of the leading figures in African football, meaning his absence would be a damaging blow for the tournament.