Switzerland skipper Alex Frei suffered a right ankle injury on Wednesday which left coach Ottmar Hitzfeld praying that the problem would not be ligament damage.

"I hope the ligaments are not damaged, that there is no fracture," Hitzfeld told Swiss news agency ATS. "I believe Alex will be on the flight with us tonight for South Africa even if it's a bad injury. I leave in the belief that he will take part in the World Cup. He perhaps will not be ready for the first match but I will be able to call upon him after that."

I hope the ligaments are not damaged, that there is no fracture.

Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld on Frei's ankle

Frei suffered the injury when he tried to tackle teammate Steve Von Bergen in a training session. He remained on the ground for around five minutes before being taken to hospital. He has endured a nightmare recent period with injuries, having broken his arm in a Swiss league game in February, only returning for the Swiss Cup final on 9 May.

He is not Hitzfeld's only injury concern ahead of Switzerland's opening 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ match against European champions Spain in Durban on Wednesday.

Valon Behrami, who was injured playing against Italy, took part in training, but he was unable to run. "If he can't train at 100 per cent by Sunday, he will not play in the first match," said the coach.