David Beckham hopes to made a "swift and full recovery" from the injury which will rule him out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, his spokesman said today. The 34-year-old tore his Achilles tendon playing for AC Milan last night and will miss the rest of the season.
"David is on his way to Finland to see a specialist and have a scan on the injury," a statement on his official website read. "He is understandably upset but wants to thank everyone for their messages of support. He hopes to make a swift and full recovery."
Beckham, who will be 35 in May, will be examined by Finnish surgeon Dr Sakari Orava at his Turku clinic this afternoon, and is expected to go under the knife later today. Some have suggested the injury, suffered in yesterday's 1-0 win over Chievo, could jeopardise the free-kick specialist's career, but Orava believes he can make a complete recovery.
"Usually yes,'' Orava told Sky Sports News. "Top athletes usually heal well but it's a few months until you are back at the same level as you were before.
"I don't think it is a big difference to be (aged) 25 or 35, it will be three, four, five months. Most of these patients come back at the same level, even in a top soccer player."
Earlier, in a statement released to Press Association Sport, England coach Fabio Capello said: "We have to wait for the results of the scan, but it looks like he is out of the World Cup.
"I spoke with him after the game on Sunday night to offer my support, as did Franco Baldini. David is a great professional and has worked very hard to be ready for the World Cup, so missing it will be a big blow."
It is expected to be three months at the very earliest before Beckham can run, and double that before he has a chance of playing again. More likely he will be out for the remainder of 2010. Capello added: "I am very sad for David that he has suffered this injury.''
Beckham's spokesman told The Sun: "He's devastated by the injury. He's fearful of what it could mean for his World Cup hopes. We will see the full extent of the injury. Victoria is flying out to him immediately because of the injury. She's naturally worried about him."
Beckham was only in Italy to give himself the best possible chance of becoming the first England player to feature in four FIFA World Cups. The injury occurred with no opposition player near him in yesterday's win at the San Siro.