HELSINKI, March 15 – David Beckham said Monday he hoped to make a "swift and full recovery" after suffering an Achilles tendon injury that is set to rule the midfielder out of this year's World Cup in South Africa.
Beckham, in a brief statement on his official website, said: "I am on my way to Finland to see a specialist and have a scan on the injury.
"I am upset but want to thank everyone for their messages of support.
"I hope to make a swift and full recovery."
Beckham was due to undergo surgery at a Finnish hospital on Monday on his ruptured Achilles tendon.
"He will arrive in the afternoon, between 3:00 and 4:00 pm (1300-1400 GMT)," orthopedic surgeon Sakari Orava told AFP.
England manager Fabio Capello said he had spoken to Beckham and that the 34-year-old looks set to miss this summer’s World Cup after suffering the career-threatening injury in AC Milan’s 1-0 Serie A win over Chievo.
Beckham twisted his left ankle during the final minutes of the match at the San Siro and limped off the field before being stretchered away in pain and in tears.
Orava explained that the operation at the sports injury clinic of Mehilaeinen hospital in the western city of Turku would take less than an hour.
"It seems the problem is his Achilles tendon. We will have to see whether it’s completely severed, partly severed, or something in between," Orava said.
"His recovery will depend on what kind of an injury this is, but it will likely take several months before it is completely healed," Orava said, adding Beckham could likely begin "light training" in a couple of months.
Asked about Beckham’s prospects of recovering in time to compete in his fourth World Cup in South Africa, Orava said this "seems a little uncertain, even though I haven’t seen him yet."
The World Cup gets underway on June 11.
Beckham was expected to remain in Finland for "a minimum of a couple of days" to recover, Orava said.
Orava added he had previously only seen Beckham on television, but had treated the football legend’s teammates from AC Milan and England.