Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon has given England manager Fabio Capello a World Cup scare by breaking down in training, further delaying his return to first-team action.
Lennon has been sidelined since the end of December with a groin strain that was expected to only keep him out for a few weeks.
But the injury has persisted and, although Lennon returned to training last week, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp revealed the wideman suffered a setback in a practice session Monday that will cause him to miss Wednesday's north London derby against Arsenal.
Lennon's ongoing problem is a major blow to Spurs' hopes of clinching fourth spot and the final Champions League berth for next season, but it is also a cause for concern for England and Capello.
The 22-year-old is generally regarded as England's first-choice right-winger but Capello, who names his preliminary 30-man World Cup squad next month before cutting it down to 23 players on June 1, will be loath to select someone who has not played in 2010.
Redknapp said: "He trained Monday and had a bit of a setback again.
"Hopefully he'll be fit for the World Cup - I hope he's fit to play for Tottenham first and foremost.
"He's sore again. He's come out in training and felt a bit sore after. So I don't know. We just have to keep our fingers crossed but it's been a long time."
Capello has already lost one right midfielder, David Beckham (ruptured Achilles tendon), to injury and will be desperate not to lose another.
Lennon is battling with the likes of Theo Walcott, James Milner and Shaun Wright-Phillips for a place on the plane to South Africa.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms