David Beckham's ruptured achilles tendon has given Fabio Capello yet another problem 88 days before England kick off their World Cup campaign.
The setback has raised doubts over the AC Milan midfielder's future in the game and will deny Capello his most experienced player in South Africa.
With less than three months to go until the tournament, Sportsmail takes a look at England's missing men.
Ashley Cole By the looks of things, his marriage is in as bad a shape as his ankle and the fracture he suffered against Everton could deny England the world's finest left-back.
Chelsea remain upbeat that he will return before the end of the season but that will still leave him with little game time before the tournament kicks off.
Possible replacements: Leighton Baines and Stephen Warnock are front-runners.
Frustration: Hargreaves (right) has been sidelined much longer than Cole
Owen Hargreaves Hargreaves' tendonitis has seriously hindered the hopes of England's star player from the tournament in Germany four years ago.
Last seen on a football pitch in September 2008, the £18million signing from Bayern Munich may be close to a return for Manchester United's reserves but he is light years away from being available for England.
Possible replacements: Michael Carrick and Gareth Barry are the obvious choices.
Aaron Lennon Tottenham's tricky winger had been one of the players of the season but hasn't made an appearance since he broke down during a game against West Ham in December.
Harry Redknapp has admitted that he may not be available in time for South Africa.
'I could not sit here and say for sure if he will play again this season. There is absolutely no comeback date at all,' said the Spurs boss last week.
Possible replacements: Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole, James Milner.
Wide boys: Tottenham winger Lennon (left) and Man City left-back Bridge
Wayne Bridge The Manchester City left-back is another absentee - but not because of injury.
His position in the England team [after John Terry had an affair with his ex-girlfriend], he stated, had become 'untenable and potentially divisive' and who will fill his position, with first-choice Cole struggling, is uncertain.
Possible replacements: Leighton Baines or Stephen Warnock.
Rio Ferdinand The England captain's well-documented back problems could prove to be Fabio Capello's biggest headache.
Ferdinand played the full 90 minutes of Manchester United's 3-0 victory over Fulham on Sunday but it was only his eighth Premier League appearance this season.
Possible replacements: Matthew Upson, Roger Johnson, Scott Dann, Joleon Lescott, Sol Campbell.
Stop-start: Johnson and Ferdinand (right) have been in and out this season
Glen Johnson Liverpool's full-back had been sidelined since December after suffering a knee injury against Aston Villa, another setback in an already injury-blighted season.
Johnson has made just 18 Premier League appearances for the Reds this term and still has a long way to go to convince Capello of his fitness, and form.
Ten weeks without first-team football has taken its toll and his two games back have been demoralising 1-0 defeats to Wigan and Lille.
Possible replacements: Gary Neville, Micah Richards, James Milner.
David Beckham loss is a 'big blow' admits Fabio Capello as England boss faces up to World Cup without injured star With David Beckham ruled out of World Cup who will replace midfield star in England squad?Beckham backed to return stronger after injury wrecks World Cup dreamDavid Beckham's England milestones: Sportsmail looks back on his international career after midfield star is ruled out of World Cup David Beckham in tears as cruel achilles injury in AC Milan win wrecks World Cup dream David Beckham highs and lows - from winning the double at United to World Cup heartache