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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beckham out six months

Star has surgery in Finland, won't play for England in World Cup

TURKU, Finland (AP) David Beckham's left Achilles' tendon was "totally torn," and the doctor who performed the surgery said the England midfielder is expected to be out of action for about six months.

Dr. Sakari Orava said the 34-year-old Beckham was expected to recover well from the injury but was all but certain to miss the World Cup in South Africa in June.

"He is doing well and the operation lasted just under an hour. It went very well," Orava said after the operation at the Mehilainen clinic in Turku, southwestern Finland. "He will have to take it very easy during the next two to three weeks or a month, and then he will continue with a recuperation program slowly.

"The foot won't take much strain for two to three months."

Orava also said it would be "four months to running" and another two months before playing.

"He was a bit depressed, which is normal, and because his leg was in pain he had not slept a lot last night and he was happy to get treatment as soon as possible," Orava said.

Beckham's spokesman, Simon Oliveira, said the tendon was completely repaired, but he expected Beckham to return to the game.

"David is expected to make a full recovery," Oliveira said.

The former England captain was injured in the closing minutes of AC Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo Verona on Sunday.

Orava said Beckham would stay the night at the clinic and likely leave Finland on Tuesday. A statement from AC Milan said Beckham would remain under observation for a few days.

"Tomorrow, Professor Orava will give his prognosis, and a precise rehabilitation plan will follow," Milan said.

Using crutches, Beckham hobbled out of a private jet at Turku airport in southwestern Finland at about 4 p.m. and was whisked away in a Mercedes. Just minutes later, he arrived at the clinic surrounded by security guards amid cheers from hundreds of fans who had gathered outside the entrance.

"I am upset but (want) to thank everyone for their messages of support," Beckham said in a statement posted on his personal Web site before his arrival. "I hope to make a swift and full recovery."

The injury shattered Beckham's hopes of becoming the first English player to appear in four World Cups and put his future in international soccer in doubt.

Beckham's international career for England appears all but over and it remains to be seen how much he'll have left for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Major League Soccer.

Capello and his England assistant, Franco Baldini, spoke with Beckham on the telephone to offer best wishes.

With only a few minutes remaining in the Chievo game and the score 0-0, Beckham was by himself in the center circle when he took a pass with his left foot, stepped back awkwardly, then stepped forward and started hopping on his right foot with an expression of pain on his face.

Liverpool victorious

LIVERPOOL , England (AP) Fernando Torres scored twice to lead Liverpool over Portsmouth 4-1 in the Premier League on Monday night, keep alive the Reds' hopes to qualify for next season's European Champions League.



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