Ray Lewington, England’s assistant manager, had to undergo emergency surgery on his knee just hours before England goalless draw with Honduras.
Lewington, who has a history of problems with his knee, was awoken in agony on Friday morning after the joint had locked up and was taken immediately to hospital for surgery.
He will now be on crutches for several days as England continue their preparations for the World Cup, with their opening game being against Italy on June 14.
Lewington, who was also Roy Hodgson’s assistant at Fulham, said: “It was really painful. I had to have an op to clear out some stuff around the knee. It couldn’t have been worse timing but I will only be on crutches for two or three days.”
The 57-year-old suffered the injury only 24 hours before England’s draw with fellow World Cup hopefuls Honduras in Main on Saturday evening, meaning he took no part on the sidelines.
Lewington had a series of issues with his knee throughout his playing career.
During his 1997 Premier League campaign with Crystal Palace, Lewington missed large parts of the season due to a serious infection in the joint.
His injury was so bad that there were even fears that he might have to have the leg amputated.
Lewington should be fit and off crutches for England’s first World Cup game.