Fabio Capello is facing up to a major injury headache ahead of England's Euro 2012 double-header against Bulgaria and Switzerland after Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and John Terry both pulled out.
The news was confirmed by the Stamford Bridge side on Saturday night following the club's 2-0 victory over Stoke.
At a time when Capello is desperate for two positive results to relieve the pressure that built up after England's dismal World Cup performances, it is something the Italian could have done without.
Having discarded Matthew Upson and with Ledley King and Jamie Carragher back in the international wilderness, it means Capello will not have any of the central defenders from the World Cup.
Since then, Manchester United's Wes Brown has also announced his retirement.
Phil Jagielka and Michael Dawson both featured in the friendly win over Hungary earlier this month but they lack experience at the highest level, while Bolton's Gary Cahill is yet to make an appearance for his country either.
In Lampard's case, Capello does have the option of pulling skipper Steven Gerrard back into a more orthodox central midfield role, although it will be interesting to see whether a renewed attempt is made to talk Paul Scholes out of retirement or pull Jack Wilshere in from the under-21 squad.
The youngster's presence there has attracted controversy anyway, with Arsene Wenger questioning why the teenager was dumped back from the senior squad after making a pleasing debut against the Hungarians.
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