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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Injured Beckham to miss World Cup

MILAN, Italy (AP) David Beckham will miss the World Cup and most if not all the Los Angeles Galaxy season after tearing his left Achilles' tendon Sunday while playing for AC Milan.

News photo
End of the line: David Beckham is attended to after being injured during AC Milan's match against Chievo at the San Siro on Sunday in Milan, Italy. Beckham is reported to have a torn Achilles' tendon, which would keep him out of the World Cup. AP PHOTO

His international career for England is all but over. It remains to be seen how much he'll have left for the Galaxy and Major League Soccer.

"He will miss the World Cup for sure," a person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made. The person said it was likely the 34-year-old midfielder will play again.

Beckham was injured without getting hit during AC Milan's 1-0 Italian League win over visiting Chievo Verona.

With only a few minutes remaining and the score 0-0, Beckham was by himself with the ball at his feet, shifted his weight and reached a hand down to his left heel. Beckham then stood up and snapped his wrists like he was breaking a twig in half in a gesture to show the AC Milan bench he knew the tendon was broken.

Visibly in pain and in tears, Beckham went to the sideline for medical attention, leaving Milan a man short because all three substitutes had been used.

"He felt the muscle begin to come up, which is a typical symptom when you break an Achilles' tendon," Milan coach Leonardo told Sky. "This is a real blow."

Sky reported that Beckham said, "It's broken, it's broken," when he came off.

Club physician Jean Pierre Meersseman told Italy's Sky TV that Beckham will fly to Finland, where he will be treated by specialist surgeon Dr. Sakari Orava.

"He'll go to Finland tomorrow and will be operated on probably tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday morning," Meersseman said.

While Beckham has not been a starter for England in recent matches, he was likely to make the World Cup squad as a reserve and looked forward to the high-profile June 12 matchup against the United States — and Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was on his second loan stint to AC Milan as he looked to boost his chances of making England coach Fabio Capello's 23-man World Cup roster. With no chance to play in the World Cup, his international career is likely over after 17 goals and 115 appearances, second in English history behind only goalkeeper Peter Shilton's 125 matches from 1970-90.

Rooney strikes again

LONDON (AP) Wayne Rooney scored two goals and helped set up another to lead Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Fulham on Sunday that moved it atop the Premier League.

United struggled to break down a stubborn defense throughout the first half, but Rooney scored in the first minute of the second period with a low shot into the bottom corner from Nani's pass.

Rooney added his second in the 84th with a first-time shot into the far corner from Dimitar Berbatov's cross and then helped set up his fellow striker with a minute left.

United manager Alex Ferguson said Rooney could top the 42 goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo two years ago.

"I said a while ago it's impossible for a player to get 42 but he is on 32 and there is a challenge there for him," Ferguson said. "He has 13 possible games and you never know. I wouldn't put it beyond him."

Manchester City missed the chance to go level on points with fourth-place Tottenham after a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

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