SPORT

Rio Ferdinand Pulls Out Of England Squad For 'Medical' Reasons

18/03/2013 13:12 GMT | Updated 18/05/2013 10:12 BST

Rio Ferdinand has said he's "gutted" after pulling out of the England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro.

The Manchester United defender was forced to withdraw following a meeting in London on Sunday evening with England Manager Roy Hodgson.

In a statement the Football Association said: "Rio confirmed he wants to continue playing for England and to be selected for the summer and autumn fixtures.

Hodgson added: "I'm disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it's not possible.

"However, I was pleased that Rio called and asked to meet with me. It was important to hear from him personally about the way he must manage his body between games.

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Rio Ferdinand played his last game for England back in June 2011 against Switzerland.

"This is not to say he cannot play back-to-back games - he can and has proven so. He's out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme.

"I must place on record how I was impressed with his commitment to playing for England and I look forward to hopefully selecting him for squads in the future."

Ferdinand said: "It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever.

"It is disappointing that I won't be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future."