Injuries mean Ferdinand likely to play twice for England

Rio Ferdinand could line up for England in both of the upcoming World Cup qualification matches – against San Marino and Montenegro – after Michael Dawson was ruled out of the international games through injury, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill is also a doubt for the double-header, having injured his knee against West Ham, leaving only Manchester United pair Ferdinand and Chris Smalling as manager Roy Hodgson’s available centre-backs from the original squad, named last week. Dawson pulled his hamstring during Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 defeat against Fulham at White Hart Lane.

It had been expected that, as a compromise to Ferdinand’s advancing years and history of back injuries, he would not be picked to play against San Marino and would only be considered for the Montenegro fixture. Joleon Lescott has been added to the travelling party but Hodgson could still turn to Ferdinand for both matches.

If Ferdinand does play against either San Marino or Montenegro it will be his first involvement under Hodgson, having been absent from the international set-up since June 2011. A former England captain, Ferdinand’s last England appearance came against Switzerland under Fabio Capello.

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