Ferdinand pulls out of England squad

Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn from the England squad to play San Marino and Montenegro in World Cup qualifiers, the BBC has reported.

Ferdinand was named in last week’s England squad by manager Roy Hodgson, the first involvement of the Manchester United defender in the international set-up under Hodgson, with Ferdinand in line for a first England appearance since June 2011, against Switzerland.

But Ferdinand has pulled out of the travelling party following a meeting with Hodgson, who said: “I’m disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed medical programme he must follow it’s not possible.

Ferdinand is said to want to remain part of the national team despite his withdrawal, and played 90 minutes for United in the 1-0 win over Reading on Saturday evening.

Hodgson has already lost Michael Dawson from the squad named prior to the weekend’s Premier League fixtures, with Gary Cahill also suffering injury on Sunday. Phil Jagielka, the Everton defender, was already missing due to injury, with Joleon Lescott called up following Dawson’s injury. Steven Caulker has been promoted from the U-21s to replace Ferdinand.

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