Michael Carrick is out of the England squad to face Slovenia in the Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday after picking up yet another injury, which may well also impact on Louis van Gaal's depleted Manchester United squad.
It is particularly frustrating for Carrick, who missed the start of the season with an ankle ligament injury and has been training with the United squad for the last four weeks but only recently returned to first-team action against Manchester City. He went for a scan on his groin yesterday having withdrawn from a light training session earlier.
Andros Townsend reported for England duty with an ankle problem and is also likely to pull out of the game at Wembley and the friendly against Scotland on Tuesday. Roy Hodgson selected 11 midfielders in his original squad so has the personnel to cope with withdrawals.
Carrick (33) has just 31 caps for England, despite making his debut more than 13 years ago. He was the oldest player in the squad and was left out of the World Cup squad.
Speaking before his injury, Carrick said that he had not considered announcing his retirement from international football when he was left behind by Hodgson for Brazil. His England career has spanned four World Cups yet he has played just once at the tournament, against Ecuador in the second round in Germany in 2006.
"It didn't cross my mind," he said. "Getting injured so quickly (in the summer) took my mind on to that."
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney believes he will soon replace Bobby Charlton as England's record scorer but knows that unless the national team win another trophy he will remain in the shadow of the 1966 world champions.
Appointed England captain at the start of this season, Rooney is expected to win his 100th cap on Saturday. He will receive a special presentation on the pitch from World Cup winner Charlton, who scored 49 international goals in 106 appearances and tops England's list ahead of Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44).
Rooney, who has 43 international goals, says in an interview in Saturday's match programme that winning a tournament, which England have only ever done in 1966, is what matters most.
"I could sit here saying I've got 200 caps and 100 goals for my country, but the ultimate is to win a trophy and that's what we all want to do," he says. "That's why we play football, to win.
"To be England's greatest ever goalscorer would be massive. The record has stood for so many years, there have been plenty of players who haven't been able to break it.
"Obviously I'm not going to be as big a legend as Sir Bobby Charlton - he's won the World Cup with England, so to eclipse that I'd have to win the World Cup." (© Independent News Service)