No South Africa return for Rio

Injured captain Rio Ferdinand will not be returning to South Africa to join up with the England World Cup squad.

Ferdinand was ruled out of the tournament just days before it started after damaging knee ligaments during England's first training session at their Royal Bafokeng base.

He was replaced in the squad by Tottenham's Michael Dawson but stayed out in South Africa for the Group C opener which ended in a 1-1 draw against the United States on Saturday.

The defender returned to club side Manchester United for a medical assessment at the beginning of the week and the Old Trafford club have now revealed that he will not be heading back to South Africa.

Instead they hope that a programme of rehabilitation will see the 31-year-old centre-half be fit and ready for the start of pre-season training.

"Rio has been assessed by club medical staff at Carrington this week and he is making good early progress from his knee injury," a United spokesperson told the club's official website.

"The medical staff have advised a two-week recuperation period with his family before returning to Carrington to complete the rehabilitation process."

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