Injuries could sideline key players from World Cup

2010-03-20 12:40

WITH former England captain David Beckham ruled out of the 2010

World Cup, there are fears that he could not be the only one missing out on the

big event.

A shoulder injury sustained by Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Emille

Baron in Brazil this week added to a growing list of players not likely to play

in the June showpiece.

With just 81 days to go to the World Cup, more and more players are

racing against time to recover well in time for the event or face the anguish of

watching from the stands.

Baron’s injury, which could rule him out of action for a month or

so depending on the exact diagnosis, will leave Carlos Parreira thin in the

goalkeeping department with another goalie Rowen Fernandez also on the mend

after sustaining a knee injury.

Bafana doctor Ntlopi Mogoru, who is also Baron’s club medico at

SuperSport United, could not immediately give a proper diagnosis of the injury,

hence the 32-year-old was forced to leave the camp and flew home on Thursday

morning to see specialist.

Apparently Baron had been carrying the same injury from club level,

and it was aggravated due to the intense training in Brazil, hence the decision

to refer him to specialists.

But it could mean the end of his World Cup prospects as he is

certain to miss Bafana’s camp in Germany next month.

It is not the first time that Baron suffered the shoulder injury,

which kept him on the sidelines for some time, while still playing for Norwegian

side Lillestrom.

But Baron is not the only player in this predicament and at the

rate players are sustaining injuries and with more football still to be played

before the June spectacle, it is clear that no one is guaranteed a place in the

final 23.

England’s coach Fabio Capello is the most hard-hit with two of his

defenders – Ashley Cole and Wes Brown – racing against time to get back to

action before June while Beckham has been ruled out completely.


ruptured his Achilles Tendon when playing for AC Milan last Sunday.

Already Capello is sweating over the prospect of not having Cole

who also underwent an ankle operation, leaving a gap in the left back position

and right back Brown.

To compound Capello’s mounting problem, Cole’s straight replacement

Wayne Bridge has asked not to be picked for the Three Lions games in the wake of

his off the field sex scandal involving former England captain John Terry and

his ex-wife.

Although Capello has not ruled out the possibilities of Bridge

missing out on the World Cup, the Manchester City full back, who refused to

shake Terry’s hand when City visited Chelsea last month, asked not to be

considered for England’s friendly against Egypt earlier this month.

The Holland team is also in a hurry to get star player Robin van

Persie ready for the major event.
The Arsenal striker has been out of action for

about four months also with an ankle injury.

US coach Bob Bradley is in the same predicament too with Stuart

Holden not likely to make it to South Africa after being injured during last

month’s friendly against Holland.

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien is another player facing the

possibility of not making it to South Africa. The Chelsea midfielder has been

carrying a knee injury since the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in January and

it is feared he might not recover in time.

But if they do not make it they would not be the first ones to miss

the spectacle.

The list has been growing and South Africans John Moeti, Andre

Arendse and Shaun Bartlett know the pain of missing the event.

And with two more months of intense football still to be played

before June, brace yourself for more miseries and heartaches.

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