Ferdinand resigned to heading home
Rio Ferdinand will return to England after Saturday's Group C match with the United States, having come to terms with his World Cup heartbreak. The Manchester United defender was last Friday ruled out of the tournament in South Africa by a knee injury suffered in training, scuppering his dreams of captaining England to World Cup glory. "It was a complete freak, an accident," said Ferdinand of the incident with Emile Heskey which caused the injury at England's Bafokeng Sports Centre base. "The ball came in from one of the lads to Emile, I'd gone to try and tackle him from behind - he didn't actually see me coming - we both went off balance and Emile's weight went down on my knee. "It's no fault of his at all. It's just a freak accident that could happen at any given time and it had no connection to any previous injuries I've had." Ferdinand was aware his World Cup tournament had ended, even before he received the results of his scan. "I knew I wasn't going to be able to play in the World Cup even before I got the scan (result) - I was just waiting to get it confirmed," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "It's disappointing, but I've come to terms with it now. "The first night was quite a pretty long night, going over what could've been and to not be able to represent your country in the World Cup. "I was going over scenarios in my head of what could've been. "Leading out your country into a major tournament is the stuff of dreams and it's taken from under your feet. "It was a long evening thinking about stuff like that. "But after that I've thought to myself I've got to get on with it. There's a lot more people worse off than I am. "I'm not dying and it's not like I'll never be able to play football again. "Hopefully I'll be able to come back, do some good rehab and I'll be fit and that's what I'm concentrating on now." Ferdinand will now watch Saturday's match in Rustenburg, before joining the millions in England watching the Group C fixtures with Algeria (June 18) and Slovenia (June 23) on television. "It's always difficult to watch a game that you feel like you could be involved in," he added. "I'll be looking to come out again later in the tournament if the rehab allows me to do that." Ferdinand inherited the skipper's armband when John Terry was stripped of the captaincy earlier this year. Steven Gerrard will now captain Fabio Capello's team in the tournament, but Ferdinand believes Terry still has a pivotal role to play. "Even when I was given the captaincy, I don't think that changes you," said Ferdinand. "I don't think JT will change the way he plays or the way he is, just because he isn't wearing the armband. "If he did, I don't think you'd see the same player. "Likewise with Wazza (Wayne Rooney) - if he doesn't show the same passion or has to hold something back, you won't see the same player."
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