Steven Gerrard expects to lead England in next week's friendly against Germany but will miss Friday's game against Chile at Wembley as he continues to receive treatment on a back problem.
The Liverpool midfielder had an injection this week and was absent on Wednesday as 23 players trained under Roy Hodgson's eye at London Colney, working instead on his rehabilitation in the gym. "He's definitely out of the Chile match but he's had an injection so we're hoping he'll be OK for Germany," the England manager said.
Gerrard was joined in the gym by Kyle Walker, the Tottenham Hotspur right-back who required an injection in what is thought to be a foot injury and will also miss this week's fixture, and by his Anfield club-mate Daniel Sturridge.
The striker is being assessed on a daily basis but there was heartening news for club and country after a scan on his foot injury revealed there had been no calcification and he had merely suffered heavy bruising. Although Sturridge has not been ruled out entirely of the Chile match, it seems likely all three will be in contention against Germany. That will leave Frank Lampard captaining the side in the first fixture, at which he will receive his "golden cap" to celebrate a century of appearances, even though the Chelsea veteran is suffering himself from a heavy cold and was also unable to play a full part in training.
The Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere featured in the session after recent ankle trouble and is expected to play against Chile, with Hodgson speaking at lengthto Arsène Wenger on the sidelines ahead ofbefore training and discussing the state of the 21-year-old's fitness.
These games are viewed as opportunities for Hodgson to experiment with selection and blood players before the World Cup finals in Brazil, with the likes of Southampton's uncapped Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, Everton's Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson of Liverpool and Manchester United's Phil Jones expected to feature.
Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill are recognised as the first-choice centre-half partnership having started each of the national team's last six fixtures, though Hodgson may be tempted to hand Jones an opportunity there against Chile. The Football Association is on course to attract a crowd in excess of 60,000 for that fixture, with ticket sales to edge beyond 80,000 for next Tuesday's more eagerly anticipated visit of Germany.
However, the German football association [DFB] have only taken less than 1,000 tickets for the game at Wembley. The DFB runs a membership scheme, similar to that in England, with tickets for the game available only to members. Yet, with Germany to play a prestigious friendly against Italy in Milan on Friday, it is unconvinced that a larger contingent would be seeking to travel to London for a midweek game.
The crowd at Wembley, while likely to be close to a sell-out, will therefore be in stark contrast to that at the recent World Cup qualifier against Poland. Demand in the buildup to that game saw an increased allocation of 20,000 official tickets granted to the visitors by the FA, with other away supporters sitting independently in other parts of the ground.
Meanwhile, the English and Polish Football Associations have been fined by Fifa after Polish fans lit flares during the World Cup group match last month. The Poles must pay SFr30,000 (£20,450) and the English FA a third of the amount for failing to prevent the disturbance.