Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard have been ruled out of England's friendly international with Germany, in Berlin, on Wednesday.
Gerrard was asked to report for duty by England boss Fabio Capello despite Liverpool claiming he was unavailable after picking up a groin injury at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. But after making the 200-mile journey to the team's Hertfordshire hotel the FA medical staff deemed the diagnosis to be correct.
Gerrard's midfield partner Lampard also misses out after scans on a rib injury he picked up at West Bromwich Albion at the weekend revealed he would not be fit enough to be involved at the Olympic Stadium.
Capello has called up West Ham United midfielder Scott Parker and Fulham's Jimmy Bullard as replacements for his increasingly experimental looking squad. Bullard, who could also qualify to play for Germany, was a surprise call up to Capello's squad ahead of September's World Cup qualifier against Andorra, although he didn't get onto the pitch.
Captain John Terry has been passed fit by the England doctors following a foot injury sustained against the Baggies and his inclusion means Capello can now call upon at least three of his first-choice line-up - alongside Walcott and David James - for the Three Lions' first visit to the German capital since 1972.
With the likes of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney ruled out before the Italian named his 23-man party plus Gerrard and Lampard withdrawing, Capello's efforts at maintaining the momentum built up by four straight World Cup qualifying wins have been cruelly undermined.