Roy Hodgson's medical staff will have to convince Uefa officials that Frank Lampard's thigh strain was not a pre-existing condition suffered by the midfielder if the new England manager is to be given dispensation to replace the injured Chelsea man with Jordan Henderson in his Euro 2012 squad.
The Football Association has already notified Liverpool and Henderson that the player is likely to be called up when Lampard, right, goes for a scan this morning on a strain that he sustained towards the end of yesterday's training session. However, because all 16 teams in Euro 2012 had to submit their 23-man squads to Uefa by Tuesday, replacements can only be called up if it can be proved that the injury took place after the deadline.
The FA's medical department will have to make its case to Uefa's medical committee over the next two days. Lampard sustained the injury in only his second session since meeting up with the squad on Tuesday after being given nine days off following Chelsea's Champions League final victory. It is not anticipated that he will be able to recover in time to play the tournament.
The FA is confident that Uefa will allow it to make the change on the basis of evidence from today's scan. Lampard has not been named in any of the previous medical bulletins and the governing body called him up in good faith, believing him to be fully fit.
Uefa tries to give competing nations the best possible chance of taking 23 players to the tournament and it is not expected that England would not be able to replace Lampard. It would represent some leap forward for Henderson, who until his substitute's appearance against Norway on Saturday had played just once for England, in November 2010 against France.
The possibility of calling up Michael Carrick is a non-starter, with the player's agent having told the FA in January that he no longer wanted to be considered. Hodgson had intimated that Carrick could be called up if the need was acute but he is not under consideration. Hodgson had a list of five stand-by players – two of whom, Phil Jagielka and Jack Butland, have already been called into the squad.
Speaking at a golf day for the players, sponsors and media yesterday, Theo Walcott said he was still hopeful Lampard could come through. "He's such a great player ... so fingers crossed. I'm praying for him. When you have a player who has just come in who has won the Champions League that can give you the extra percentage that boosts us all."