England captain John Terry was the most notable of the four absentees from training on Tuesday as Fabio Capello's side began their preparations for Saturday's World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan at Wembley.
Terry felt a niggle in his back at the end of Chelsea's win over Aston Villa on Sunday and was not expected to train any way.
The other missing men were Terry's Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole, Manchester United's Wes Brown and Stewart Downing of Middlesbrough.
All four were confined to gym work, but the quartet are expected to train on Wednesday and Thursday, when it is expected Capello will play his intended side in a full-size training game.
With Joe Cole out with a foot injury, it is believed Capello will ditch the plan of having a holding midfielder and instead pair Steven Gerrard with Frank Lampard in central midfield.
Although the duo has never seemed to work together as a unit, the England coach knows he needs to get the most from the world-class pair, although the presence of Gareth Barry could provide some insurance against the eastern Europeans.
Theo Walcott is expected to retain his right-sided berth after scoring his memorable hat-trick against Croatia last month, while the return of Peter Crouch provides some competition for Emile Heskey, who should nevertheless partner Wayne Rooney in attack.
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