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England news

Injured King out until semi-final stage

June 14, 2010
By Harry Harris, Soccernet staff

Ledley King won't be fit until the semi-final stage of the World Cup after scans revealed the extent of the defender's groin injury but Wayne Rooney has been given the all-clear on his ankle knock, Soccernet can confirm.

Ledley King trained away from the group on Monday
GettyImagesLedley King trained away from the group on Monday

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King attended training with his team-mates on Monday but was restricted to work in the swimming pool after joining Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole in sitting out the main session.

The Tottenham defender suffered a tear in his groin in the first half of England's 1-1 draw with USA and was replaced by Jamie Carragher, who is now favourite to continue alongside John Terry.

As Soccernet disclosed at the start of the Monday, King's scans were sent to London for a second opinion of whether he might be out for "two to three weeks." The bad news is that the second opinion confirmed that King has a "grade two groin muscle injury," and England insiders said: "It really depends how deep it is, and how he will react to treatment.

"Normally this type of injury can take anything from ten days to more than a month, but as it is grade two, the medical opinion is that it will be two to three weeks, and most likely three weeks. So if he cannot play until the semi-finals, let's make sure we are in the semi-finals!"

As for Rooney missing training, my source told me: "It is not a secret - everyone is fine. And that includes Wayne Rooney. All Wayne Rooney needs is a goal or two!"

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had already cast doubt on King's participation in the remainder of the tournament, telling talkSPORT: "I spoke to our physio last night, Wayne Diesel. Wayne is out in South Africa, he's gone over there to be around the England camp.

"I don't think we'll see Ledley again if he's struggling to play. They are getting the result back from the scan today, but if there's a tear in the groin that would make it difficult for him. That's the problem for him, when you don't train and have to play at that top, top class level you're going to pick up injuries."

Having lost captain Rio Ferdinand before the start of the tournament, and possibly now his replacement, Capello is running out of central defenders with any genuine pace. That is why Dawson will become a strong candidate.

Inside the camp, Capello is not panicking. A source said: "Fabio is quite confident in whoever he plays in that position. Dawson will, I am sure, be considered, but he does lack experience. Fabio will see how he does in training. But the feeling is that Fabio will go with the two most experienced central defenders."