• World Cup

Drogba suffers fractured elbow against Japan

Soccernet staff
June 4, 2010

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has fractured his elbow in a friendly tie against Japan and could now miss the World Cup finals.

Drogba had opened the scoring for the Elephants in the game in Sion but was injured following a challenge with Tulio Tanaka after 15 minutes, as the Japan defender's knee connected with his elbow.

Drogba left the pitch holding his right arm and it has been confirmed that the Chelsea striker has sustained a fractured elbow, which could put his participation in the finals in South Africa in real doubt.

"It's an elbow injury. How bad it is, I don't know. He had a lot of pain," coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said. "Of course I'm worried. He's captain and one of the world's best players.

"It was unlucky. It wasn't bad or stupid. He [Tulio] didn't want to hurt anyone. Football is a game of contact."

It is believed Drogba was taken to a nearby hospital and L'Equipe reports the striker has admitted he will not be able to represent his country.

The news, if confirmed, will come as a huge setback to Ivory Coast coach Eriksson, who already has the daunting task of facing Brazil, Portugal and North Korea in Group G.

Drogba finished the season as top scorer in the Premier League after claiming 29 goals for Chelsea and is one of the leading figures in African football, meaning his absence would be a damaging blow for the tournament.

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