Cahill and Dawson injuries put onus on Ferdinand to play in both England qualifiers
18:27 GMT, 17 March 2013
23:42 GMT, 17 March 2013
Roy Hodgson’s plans for Rio Ferdinand during England’s two World Cup qualifiers took a dramatic twist after Michael Dawson and Gary Cahill suffered injuries on Sunday.
Ferdinand has been told by Sir Alex Ferguson he will be needed to play three games in 10 days for Manchester United when he returns from international duty.
Hodgson planned to rest Ferdinand for the game against San Marino in Rimini on Friday and pair him with Cahill for the top-of-the-table clash against Montenegro the following Tuesday.
Heavy workload: England's defensive crisis means Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is now likely to start both qualifiers. Ferdinand is also in line to play three matches in 10 days for Manchester United
Second chance: Joleon Lescott could feature for England after initially being dropped from the squad
Injury worry: Michael Dawson (right) played the first half for Tottenham against Fulham but picked up an injury and is now a doubt for England's World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro
However, the 34-year-old may be pressed into action for both games after Dawson and Cahill picked up knocks on club duty.
Manchester City centre back Joleon Lescott has been called up after Dawson was ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered in Tottenham’s 1-0 home defeat by Fulham, while Cahill will be assessed by England physio Gary Lewin at the St George’s Park training centre.
He played 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over West Ham but later had treatment on an ankle injury.
Ferdinand has been given Ferguson’s blessing to join the England squad for the first time in nearly two years, but it is not without complications.
The United defender has been told he is needed for games against Sunderland (March 30), Chelsea in the FA Cup (April 1) and Manchester City (April 8).
Despite the concerns of his club manager, Ferdinand’s call-up has gone down well in the United dressing room.
‘It’s good for Rio,’ said team-mate Nemanja Vidic. ‘He deserves the call, he has played well this season and can help the national team.
More trouble: Gary Cahill (right) has also had to pull out of the England squad due to injury
Selection headache: Aaron Lennon is also a doubt after missing Tottenham's match with Fulham
‘He would have two international games, then when he comes back we have two games in three days in the Premier League and FA Cup.
‘Can he play all of these games All I can say is that I hope he does well.’
Meanwhile, Spurs winger Aaron Lennon, who missed the Fulham defeat with groin and hamstring problems, will not be available for Hodgson.
‘He won’t make it,’ said Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas. ‘He’s been struggling with injuries. We risked him against Inter Milan and he is on the brink of rupturing a muscle.’
Gareth Bale also needed lengthy treatment after appearing to twist an ankle in the first half against Fulham, but Villas-Boas expects him to be fit for international duty with Wales.