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Drogba seriously doubtful for World Cup

sports Updated: Jun 04, 2010 23:44 IST

Reuters
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Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba is seriously doubtful for the World Cup after injuring his elbow in a friendly against Japan on Friday.

The 32-year-old, a talismanic figure for the Elephants, went down under a heavy challenge from Tulio after 15 minutes, which left him spread-eagled on the pitch.

After rising groggily to his feet, the Chelsea forward, whose free kick was deflected in by Tulio for the opening goal, hobbled off and was replaced by Seydou Doumbia.

He was taken to hospital and a team source said that he had fractured his elbow, although there was no official confirmation from Ivorian officials.

"It's obviously very sad, for him he said that the World Cup is finished, we're just waiting for what the doctor says," defender and vice-captain Kolo Toure told reporters.

But coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said there was still a chance Drogba could play at the tournament which kicks off next Friday.

"We are not sure yet, we think it's still a possibility," he said amid chaotic scenes in front of the ramshackle Tourbillon stadium..

Drogba left the stadium with his arm in a cast and a wry smile on his face as he walked to the team bus amid heavy security, cheered by around 50 onlookers.

Ivory Coast won the game, only the second under Eriksson's leadership, 2-0.

"Its difficult for us to lose such a really important player," said Toure.

"I think the news is not the best, maybe he will even not play the World Cup and really bad for us.

"We are just waiting for the doctor to take the decision because we don't know yet."

"He's such an important player, he's a really important player even if he's not on the pitch, to have him with us, it would be really nice to have us by our side.

"He was sad and that's it. We can just see that he was sad and when you say that, you don't ask any more."