Manchester United duo Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick have been ruled out of England’s international friendlies against Chile and Germany, the Football Association has confirmed.
Carrick was carrying an Achilles injury in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Arsenal on Sunday, and despite completing 90 minutes, he has been forced to withdraw from the squad for the two matches at Wembley.
Welbeck hasn’t played since October 19 after he picked up a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Southampton, and he was expected to miss both matches even though Roy Hodgson called him up to the squad.
Hodgson will not look to replace the pair, having originally announced an enlarged 28-man squad with Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez set to make their international debuts.
An FA statement read: "Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick have both withdrawn from the England squad due to injury.
"The Manchester United duo featured in last month's World Cup qualifier against Poland, but are ruled out as Roy Hodgson's men gather for two games at Wembley Stadium.
"No additional players will be added to the squad of 26 players."
England’s preparations for the matches had already been disrupted due to an outbreak of a virus at St George’s Park which resulted in both the senior squad and the Under-21 side meeting at the Grove Hotel in Watford rather than the FA’s base near Burton.
There was a boost though with the news that captain Steven Gerrard, his Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere all joined up with the squad despite suffering small knocks recently, and they look set to play some part for the national side with Hodgson set to give a number of fringe players a run-out.
Instead of training at St George’s Park, the England side will spend sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday at Arsenal’s training HQ at London Colney, before finalising their preparations for Friday’s game with Chile at the home of English football.
Carrick’s withdrawal means fellow midfielders Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, Tom Cleverley and Lallana are likely to get a lengthy amount of action, with doubts over Gerrard’s participation in the first game remaining due to a hip injury.
Should Gerrard miss the first match, Frank Lampard is expected to deputise for the skipper, and his two daughters Luna and Isla are understood to be the official mascots for the game where the Chelsea midfielder will receive a commemorative 100th cap before the match.