Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has been forced to withdraw from the England squad with a knee injury picked up in training.
As earlier reported by Mirror Football, an England statement confirmed on Wednesday night his withdrawal.
The statement said: "The defender will undergo further diagnosis on the issue with Liverpool’s medical team."
But there are major concerns that Gomez is now facing an extended layoff.
“I can’t tell you how serious it is because he’s yet to have scans,” said England boss Gareth Southgate.
“What was upsetting was to see him in a fair bit of pain.
"The fact was there was nobody around him when the injury happened. I didn't like that element of it.
"We just have to wait and see what the scans show. We are all hopeful for him that it's not what it might be.
"It's not a good situation. I don't see him being involved in the games with us, that's for sure.
“We can't speculate on the exact nature of the injury. It's not possible until we've seen scans.
"My immediate thoughts are with him because he has had some difficulty with injury in the past.
"We are hoping as much as we possibly can and praying that it's not going to be a long-term one but we'll just have to see."
Southgate's confirmation that the incident occurred without contact suggests Gomez's injury will be another massive blow for the Premier League champions.
Rather than being the occurrence of a tackle, it hints at another serious muscle or ligament injury as the most likely outcome.
Boss Jurgen Klopp is already without defensive lynchpin Virgil van Dijk for the remainder of the season, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is out for the next month.
Without Gomez, Klopp is left with just Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and 19-year-old Rhys Williams as recognised centre-backs with first-team experience.
Fabinho, himself struggling with injury of late, has been earmarked to play centre-back this term following the summer exit of Dejan Lovren, while Klopp has spoken of potentially asking skipper Jordan Henderson to deputise.
Klopp has also spoken out about the congested fixture schedule recently, and has been vocal in his desire to see the Premier League allow sides to make five subs in matches.
The England boss was asked about football's congested calendar and referred once more to Gomez when he spoke out.
Southgate said: "I spoke about this right at the beginning of the season. With Joe [we have] a good example.
"We knew the load he has had in the last six weeks or so. We gave him and the other players who had been in European matches who played Sunday, an extra day's recovery.
"Yet still something like this has happened.
"There are lots of discussions about extra subs. But the bigger picture here is, everybody in the game needs to work together.
"There was an opportunity this year to think differently. The pandemic has thrown up all sorts of difficulties for people. But everybody has tried to cram the programme into a smaller period.
"We are going to see injuries. It's a desperately sad situation. When you see the impact on an individual, it hits home even more.
"A lot of these discussions should have happened in the summer.
"We could have adjusted the calendar in its entirety and all worked together. But people haven't done that."
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