England are facing a goalkeeping crisis ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier with Bulgaria on Friday, after West Ham United's Robert Green was ruled out through a finger injury.
Green reported for duty at England's training base at the Grove in Watford last night, but it was immediately obvious he would not be able to play any part in the build-up to the Group G encounter in Sofia, and he has returned to his club for treatment. Derby County's Frankie Fielding has been called up as a replacement.
However, as on-loan Ipswich Town keeper David Stockdale, who conceded seven at Peterborough United last week, was the back-up anyway, it places more emphasis on the fitness of Manchester City's Joe Hart.
Fabio Capello's first-choice goalkeeper has never given any impression of suffering from injury problems.
However, he was forced to pull out of the November friendly defeat to France last season after suffering a back spasm in training, and Capello will be anxious to avoid any kind of repeat.
Neither Stockdale nor Fielding have ever played at senior level before - West Bromwich Albion's Ben Foster, who stood in for Hart against France has since declared a desire not to play for England - and the prospect of going into such a key game with an acute lack of experience is not one that will appeal.
Fielding started all three matches for Stuart Pearce's England side at the UEFA European U-21 Championship in June.