England boss Roy Hodgson has hailed John Terry's warrior-like qualities, even though the Chelsea captain is now a doubt for Tuesday's Wembley meeting with Ukraine.
Hodgson revealed he offered Terry the chance to exit England's 5-0 win over Moldova 20 minutes from time after he suffered an ankle injury. With all England's substitutes used, the 31-year-old typically declined. In the end, he was forced off anyway, meaning he is now a major doubt for England's second stop on their road to the World Cup.
"I'd liked to have taken him off, and we did suggest we'd play with 10," said Hodgson. "He's a warrior though, so he poo-pooed the suggestion he should come off with 20 minutes to go."
Hodgson added: "He took a kick on the ankle in the first half and then twisted it slightly when he landed in front of the bench in the second half. They're assessing him at the moment. It's obviously not a very serious injury, but every knock is important with only three days between games."
At least England have a ready-made replacement in Terry's Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill, who only made the bench this evening as Joleon Lescott was preferred.
Indeed, Hodgson was able to deliver some good news, dismissing the half-time departure of skipper Steven Gerrard as "a precaution" before revealing Ashley Cole, who missed the game with an ankle injury, trained on Friday and could rejoin the England squad when they meet in Watford on Sunday afternoon.
Terry apart, it was a good evening for Hodgson. England's biggest away win since their 7-1 defeat of San Marino in 1993 was launched by two goals from Frank Lampard, who has now scored 25 times for his country, one more than Sir Geoff Hurst.
"Frank was excellent," said Hodgson. "Quality is permanent, and that's proved itself time and time again. He might not always play to the top of his game, because football is football, but you're better off going into games having that quality on the field."
Jermain Defoe increased England's lead before the break. Then, after taking some time to get going in the second half, James Milner and Leighton Baines found the net to complete a comfortable victory against a poor Moldova outfit, who looked every bit their status of 141st in the FIFA rankings.
"I am very pleased," said Hodgson. "It's the first match in a qualifying group for a World Cup, which is always a nervous occasion. You're always concerned you'll not produce the performance you want, or the result, but we got off to the best possible start and controlled the game throughout."