Fabio Capello has been spared the nightmare of deciding whether to axe Rio Ferdinand or John Terry for Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro after Phil Jagielka was ruled out with a hamstring injury sustained on Friday morning.
After two towering central defensive performances in last month's victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland, Jagielka had been expected to retain his place next week as England look to maintain their 100% record.
It would have left Capello needing to choose between Ferdinand and Terry to be Jagielka's partner, with the added dilemma of whether the Manchester United man should regain the captaincy from Steven Gerrard, but now the selection decision will not need to be made.
Jagielka missed a Friday morning training game at Arsenal's London Colney after experiencing some tightness in his hamstring during the session beforehand.
He then underwent a scan before being ruled out of Tuesday's game at Wembley, with Bolton's Gary Cahill called into the squad as his replacement.
Meanwhile, Gareth Barry joined up with the squad on Friday evening after being given additional time at home due to personal reasons.
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