Ferdinand pulls out of England squad

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro on Monday.

Ferdinand was due to join up with the England team on Monday, but manager Roy Hodgson announced that the veteran had decided to withdraw from the squad as he continues to manage his fitness.

The 34-year-old earned the last of his 81 caps for England in June 2011 in a Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland, but he said that he still wants to continue his international career.

Tottenham defender Steven Caulker was originally set to feature for England's Under-21 team, but he has been called up as a replacement for Ferdinand.