Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba could miss the World Cup with a suspected fractured elbow after he was forced off in a friendly against Japan today, according to L'Equipe. Drogba had put his country 1-0 ahead with a free-kick in the 15th minute against Japan before going down following a challenge from the Japan defender Tulio Tanaka - off whom Drogba's goal had deflected in - and he left the pitch in visible distress.
Drogba was immediately taken to hospital in Sion, Switzerland, where the Ivorians have been undergoing altitude training. Acccording to L'Equipe, he confirmed after a scan that he will not be fit to play in South Africa.
The injury is a devastating blow to the player, who was hoping to crown what he termed the finest season of his career by leading his country to glory at the first World Cup to be staged in Africa. The loss of player who has scored 44 goals in 69 appearances for his country – and hit 37 in all competitions for Chelsea this season – severely damages the Elephants' chances of making an impact in South Africa. Ivory Coast are in perhaps the toughest of all groups, with Brazil and Portugal representing formidable obstacles between them and the next round.
In addition to his contributions on the pitch, Drogba carries enormous influence within the dressing room. Indeed, he has sometimes been accused of trying to exert too much control over team selection and strategy, though that complaint has not surfaced since the appointment of Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager, and there is certainly no doubt that he would have been the Ivorians' most potent weapon. At the age of 32, it is unlikely he will have another opportunity to play at the World Cup.
How it happened. I'm warning you - it's awful :((
I'm so, so disappointed and sad about this. He must be gutted.
ETA - I added the vid.