Ivory Coast devastated as Drogba ruled out of World Cup
Chelsea forward's absence a blow, but could give Kalou chance to shine
Ivory Coast have been shaken by the news that their captain and talismanic striker Didier Drogba will miss the World Cup with a fractured elbow.
Drogba sustained the injury during Ivory Coast’s 2-0 friendly win over Japan in Sion, Switzerland, when he collided with Japanese defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka.
It is a devastating blow to an Ivorian side who have been drawn with Brazil and Portugal in Group G.
Manager Sven Goran Eriksson said: “It’s very annoying. He is our captain and one of the best strikers in the world.”
Drogba is the third prominent Chelsea player to miss the tournament, following the withdrawals of Ghana’s Michael Essien and Germany skipper Michael Ballack.
It is now up to Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and other key figures to rouse the Ivorian players as they prepare for their potentially decisive opener against Portugal on June the 15th.
If Drogba fails to recover, Salomon Kalou looks well placed to take the goalscoring duties from his Chelsea team-mate and is 13/8 to be top scorer for the Ivorians.