England are sweating on the fitness of skipper and key defender Rio Ferdinand with their opening World Cup match barely a week away.
The Manchester United player suffered a knee injury during the final minutes of England's first major training session since arriving in South Africa. Ferdinand immediately went to hospital to undergo a scan but England coach Fabio Capello's concern is such he has called up Tottenham's Michael Dawson on stand-by.
"The bad news is in the last moment of the training, Rio suffered a problem with the knee," Capello confirmed.
"He has just gone to hospital for a scan. We hope it will not be so bad an injury but we have Michael Dawson on call.
"It came from a minor tackle during the training. How bad is it? We will have to wait and see."
Ferdinand had been optimistic of enjoying an injury-free World Cup after a season dogged by problems at United.
He was able to feature in barely a third of their Barclays Premier League campaign but had trained with no setbacks during England's two-week camp in Austria and also came through the friendly internationals with Mexico and Japan unscathed.
Goalkeeper David James also missed training but Capello is less concerned with that situation and insisted the 39-year-old had "only a slight knee problem".
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