England ace Chris Smalling was substituted before half-time against Italy last night after feeling unwell, according to an FA spokesman.
As reported by the Daily Mail, it was initially feared that the Manchester United centre-back, who started at the heart of Roy Hodgson's defence in Turin, was forced off with an injury, but it has now been revealed that he was ill.
Ultimately Smalling was replaced by fellow club teammate Michael Carrick, who slotted into the middle of the park, with Phil Jones taking up the role vacated by Smalling. Without the defender the Three Lions went on to secure a 1-1 draw in Italy thanks to a late equaliser from Spurs ace Andros Townsend.
Smalling at United
Manchester United chiefs, meanwhile, will be hoping that Smalling's illness isn't anything serious, with the Red Devils set to play host to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
Smalling has been in fine form for Louis van Gaal's side of late, having proved his credentials against the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool in the last couple of outings.
There's no doubt about it, Manchester United will be in great spirits as they play host to Tim Sherwood's side on Saturday afternoon in what proves to be another important fixture as they attempt to secure Champions League football for next season.
After the crucial victory over Liverpool before the international break, the Red Devils are now in pole position to take their place in the top four and will now be looking to gain another three points this weekend.
Better late than never
For Smalling, though, he will be desperate to recover in time for the clash as he finally proves his credentials under the Van Gaal regime.
Things certainly haven't gone to plan for the England international in the famous red shirt in recent years as he's failed to prove himself on a consistent basis. However, of late, he's looked far more composed at the back-line and has stepped up in the big games.
He will no doubt be hoping for a strong end to the season as he looks to keep his place at the heart of the club's defence for many years to come. He must now believe that he can go from strength-to-strength at the club, but it's crucial he manages to stay on the pitch on a consistent basis.
Manchester United fans: Does Smalling have a long term future at your club? Have your say in the comments section below!
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