Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand today withdrew from the England squad ahead of tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier against San Marino.
Lampard has been nursing a knee injury and will not be risked against the group minnows while Bertrand has a sore throat which has not improved sufficiently.
The Football Association announced this morning that both men will return to the European champions for treatment over the next couple of days before reporting back to the England camp on Sunday for assessment before Tuesday's tricky trip to Poland.
Lampard's withdrawal leaves coach Roy Hodgson with a decision to make over the captaincy.
With regular skipper Steven Gerrard suspended, his deputy Lampard was in line to wear the armband at a sold-out Wembley tomorrow night.
His absence opens the door for someone else, with Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart reportedly in the frame.
Hart, however, believes the honour should go to striker Wayne Rooney.
"I've no idea who is going to be captain but I am pretty sure it will fall to Rooney," said Hart.
"He is our star man with 10 million caps at the age of whatever he is, 26?
"I imagine he is a little bit further up the queue than me."
Bertrand's condition had been described as a sore throat, but the 23-year-old took to twitter to make clear it had taken a more serious problem to force his withdrawal.
"Just to clarify.... Its not a "sore throat" Im ill.swollen glands in my neck... And constant headache for 3 days now and freezin cold" he wrote.