Fabio Capello has offered words of support to David Beckham who has been ruled out of the World Cup finals after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Beckham will undergo surgery in Finland on Monday but the doctor who will perform the procedure has revealed it will take a minimum of four months to recover – ruling him out of the World Cup.
Capello spoke to Beckham shortly after the midfielder picked up his injury playing for Milan and the Italian is already planning for South Africa without the 34-year-old.
“We have to wait for the results of the scan, but it looks like he is out of the World Cup,” said the England coach. “I spoke with him after the game on Sunday night to offer my support, as did Franco Baldini.
“David is a great professional and has worked very hard to be ready for the World Cup, so missing it will be a big blow.”
Beckham’s spokesman told the Sun: “He’s devastated by the injury. He’s fearful of what it could mean for his World Cup hopes. We will see the full extent of the injury. Victoria is flying out to him immediately because of the injury. She’s naturally worried about him.”
The surgeon due to operate on Beckham on Monday says the injury will prevent the LA Galaxy midfielder, who is on loan at Milan, from playing for up to four months. Beckham is expected to arrive in Finland at around 1100 GMT and will be operated on Dr Sakari Orava.
“To start kicking and playing football about three months,” Dr Orava said. “For maximal performances and maximum kicks and jumps, maybe it takes one month more, three to four months before one is able to do light playing.
“It’s a total tear of the Achilles tendon. If there is any weakness then… a graft can be taken from the calf and put over the injury site to make it stronger. This kind of procedure is planned.”
While England’s medical team will await the results of scans and Monday’s planned operation, Milan are in no doubt that the serious injury will prevent Beckham from appearing in South Africa.
“Dr Orava is the foremost specialist in the world for this kind of injury, we want to get David to see him as quickly as possible,” Jean Pierre Meersseman, Milan’s club doctor, said. “But as far as the World Cup is concerned, he’s definitely out.”
Beckham rejoined Milan on a second loan spell in January and is a popular figure at San Siro. Rossoneri chief executive Adriano Galliani expects Beckham to be absent for “five to six months” but has already told the midfielder he will be welcomed back for a third spell in Serie A.
“I gave him a big hug and told him that he is a part of our family and that, if he wants to come back to Milan next year, there will be a place for him here,” Galliani said in the Times. “It’s horrible, for two consecutive years he has come to play for us for one reason only, to stay fit for the World Cup and to further his England career. And now something like this happens. Football can be so cruel.”