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England captain Rio Ferdinand is reported to be out of the World Cup with a knee injury with Tottenham Hotspur's Michael Dawson called up as a replacement, according to Sky Sports News.

BBC Radio 5 Live stated Ferdinand, 31, picked up the injury during the Three Lions' first training session after a tackle from Aston Villa's Emile Heskey. Manager Fabio Capello confirmed earlier today that Dawson had been drafted in on stand-by after he was initially cut from the provisional 30-man squad.

The skipper's Manchester United campaign was blighted by a recurring back problem, though today's blow is not related. He only started 11 Premier League matches last term as the club finished one point behind champions Chelsea.

Ferdinand was handed the armband in February after John Terry was stripped of the role after newspaper revelations. The duo were expected to start in the heart of the defence.

Ledley King or Jamie Carragher are now the favourites to line-up alongside Terry when England kick off their campaign against the United States of America on June 12.

The 2010 World Cup is fast approaching, so keep up to date with all the news at's World Cup homepage and join USA's Facebook fan page!