England midfielder Frank Lampard admits he feared for Rio Ferdinand after seeing the tackle which ended the Manchester United defender's World Cup dreams.
Ferdinand was injured in a collision with Emile Heskey in England's first training session in Rustenburg yesterday and the England skipper was ruled out for up to six weeks following a scan.
Lampard revealed he was saddened by the news but has urged his team-mates to push on in Ferdinand's absence.
'He's very down,' Lampard said of Ferdinand at a press conference today.
'It's a huge competition, the biggest competition. It made me feel a bit sick in the stomach so I can't imagine how he feels.'
'I was fearful for him because you could see the pain of the fall but also there was an element of fear.
'We all understand that. We've all had moments during our club careers as well where there's big games coming up and you feel you might have done something to put you out of that game.
'I understood straight away that it was potentially a bad one and then it was fingers crossed for the scan and obviously it turned out to be bad.'
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Lampard admits the whole camp are disappointed to lose such an important player as Ferdinand but feels that Michael Dawson, who has now joined up with the England camp, is an able replacement.
Steven Gerrard has taken over as skipper with Lampard being named as vice-captain, and the Chelsea midfielder feels that is the right choice to help them push on.
He added: 'We have to keep batting on, we have to be very focused. There's nothing wrong with being disappointed. That's normal. But when we trained today we trained at full pelt
'Dawson's turned up now and he's a lad who fully deserves to get that kind of call up for the player he is and the season he's had. So we have to just focus.
'Yes, we've lost a big player and big leader in our team but we've got to get together.
'I think he (Gerrard) will do the job he does at Liverpool. Which he has done fantastically for years. It'll mean everything to him the England captaincy.
'Steven's got that very quiet way about him off the pitch and everyone respects him for that. He's a player to look up to and that what's a captain's all about.'
Ferdinand now has to decide whether to remain in South Africa or return to England.
Lampard, who is close friends with the 31-year-old from when the pair were progressing through the ranks at West Ham, hopes he remains with the squad.
'I didn't really know what to say for him,' he said. 'We just spoke about the injury and how disappointed he was and I just said "I'm here for you".
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'He's making the decision now whether to stay on or go home. I know he'll try and do what's best for him but also what's good for the lads.
'We'll miss him first and foremost on the pitch because of the quality he has as a centre-half. He's one of the best in the world without a shadow of a doubt but we have to keep going.'
Injuries have blighted recent England campaigns - David Beckham's metatarsal in2002, Wayne Rooney's metatarsal in 2004 and Michael Owen's knee injury in Germany four years ago.
And Lampard admits it is a problem which worries the rest of the squad.
He added: 'We're very nervous of these things because we have had players injured before but I wouldn't say we're cursed. That's the wrong word. What we have to do now is rely on the strength of the group and our players.'
England kick off their World Cup campaign against the USA on June 12 beforefacing Algeria and Slovenia.
Lampard knows victory next week would give them a huge advantage in the group but insists a different result would not be a disaster.
He said: 'There are three games in the group and it's not all about winning that first game - but of course it's a big one for us to start and if we win it will put us in a very strong position in the group.
'I've seen many many a game in tournaments before where that first game doesn't go how you'd expect it to, teams are a bit cagey, they've got to get used to the conditions.and America will be determined to beat us, without a shadow of a doubt.
'We have to not make it the be-all and end-all. We don't have to think of the result we've just got to prepare right for the game.'
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