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Drogba injury blow for Ivory Coast

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Drogba, Ferdinand hurt in Cup warmup
  • Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba injures his right arm in World Cup warm-up match
  • Drogba taken to hospital during Ivory Coast's 2-0 win over Japan
  • Italy will be without midfielder Andrea Pirlo for their opening match against Paraguay
  • Brazil defender Michel Bastos also injured in training on Friday

(CNN) -- Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba is facing World Cup heartbreak after fracturing his right arm in a 2-0 warm-up victory over Japan on Friday.

The Chelsea striker helped put the Ivorians ahead with an early free kick which was deflected home by Japan defender Marcus 'Tulio' Tanaka.

But in the 18th minute he suffered his injury, the victim of a flying high tackle by Tulio which left Drogba writhing in agony.

He was substituted by CSKA Moscow's Seydou Doumbia and taken for a scan at a hospital in the Swiss town of Sion which hosted the game.

The Ivory Coast manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was clearly concerned about the injury which is set to rule him out of the finals in South Africa.

"Didier Drogba was injured just above the elbow," he told AFP.

"We do not know if he will be able to play the World Cup. Of course it is very worrying. He is our skipper and our best player.

We do not know if he will be able to play the World Cup. Of course it is very worrying. He is our skipper and our best player
--Sven-Goran Eriksson

"I have not as yet spoken to him but what is certain is that he was in great pain."

Drogba left the hospital with his arm in a sling and held protectively under his vest.

Kolo Toure scored the second goal 10 minutes from time to complete the victory but admitted it was overshadowed by the Drogba injury.

"Of course without Didier Drogba we are not the same team but we have good players with abundant qualities," he told AFP.

Drogba's goals powered Chelsea to the domestic English Premier League and FA Cup double and he was set to be a key figure for the Elephants in a tough Group G against Brazil, Portugal and North Korea.

They open their campaign against Portugal on June 15.

England captain Ferdinand out of World Cup

Eriksson was pleased with their performance against Japan, notwithstanding the loss of Drogba.

"We played well with a lot of discipline," said the former England boss.

Italy also suffered a World Cup injury blow as midfield star Andrea Pirlo was ruled out of their opener against Paraguay in Cape Town on June 14 owing to a calf strain.

Pirlo sustained the injury in training but is still expected to leave with his teammates when they depart for South Africa on June 8.

Italy are hoping he will return to fitness in time for their other Group F games against Slovakia and New Zealand.

Brazil are also sweating on the fitness of regular left-back Michel Bastos, who injured his right ankle in training on Friday.

The 26-year-old Lyon player had to be carried off the pitch in Johannesburg by the medical staff.

Brazil begin their World Cup campaign against Group G minnows North Korea on June 15.