Didier Drogba is still in the Ivory Coast squad. The Chelsea striker left the field after just 15 minutes of Ivory Coast’s 2-0 friendly win over Japan on Friday with a suspected fractured elbow. In a statement the Ivory Coast Federation (FIF) confirmed Drogba had surgery on a fractured ulna, declared the operation a success and said they were “confident regarding the speedy recovery of the player.”
However it appears unlikely that Drogba will be fit for Ivory Coast’s opening Group G game against Portugal on June 15. “That depends on the verdict of the medical team,” a FIF spokesman said. “But he’s definitely not out [of the tournament].”
Good news too for the Netherlands and Arjen Robben, whose hamstring injury is not as bad as initially feared. Robben, a second-half substitute in Saturday’s 6-1 demolition of Hungary, limped off two minutes from time after making a mess of a backheel, prompting fears he would miss the World Cup.
However a scan on Sunday suggests Robben still has a part to play in South Africa. “It’s just a small tear in my left hamstring,” said Robben. “It’s the first time I have a injury on that spot of my leg. If I just let it heal than I’m back on the field in 4 – 6 weeks, but we don’t have so much time. I’m gonna fight till I drop!” Shouldn’t take long, Arjen.
Italy continue to sweat over the fitness of Andrea Pirlo, who tore a calf muscle in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat to Mexico. While Pirlo is unlikely to return to fitness before the knockout stages, head coach Marcello Lippi indicated he would take him anyway, saying: “In conjunction with the medical staff we have decided to take him along. If Pirlo skips three games, it’s not a problem. He might come back in the fourth, who knows?”
The only absentee from England training on Sunday was Matthew Upson, who’s been tucked up in bed with chicken soup and the second season of Friends, as he has a virus. He’s expected to return to full training today.
Liverpool defender Martin ‘Touché’ Skrtel limped out of Slovakia’s 3-0 win over Costa Rica after just 16 minutes and continued limping all the way to hospital for some scans. However, continuing the theme of this article, things aren’t as bad as first thought, with Skrtel only needing a few days’ rest. “It’s just a gash,” said Skrtel, to stifled sniggers.