Fabio Capello admits news of David Beckham's injury has come as a 'big blow' to his World Cup plans.
The 34-year-old midfielder snapped his Achilles tendon while in action for AC Milan on Sunday, breaking down towards the end of their 1-0 win over Chievo.
He is due to go under the knife on Monday, wasting little time in starting the recovery process, but he is still expected to be out of action for up to four months.
That means he will definitely miss this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.
While no longer a regular starter for his country, Beckham was widely tipped to make Capello's 23-man squad.
However, the Italian coach admits he may be forced to consider other options after seeing Beckham break down and leave Milan's Giuseppe Meazza home on crutches.
"We have to wait for the results of the scan, but it looks like he is out of the World Cup," said the England coach.
"I spoke with him after the game on Sunday night to offer my support, as did Franco Baldini.
"David is a great professional and has worked very hard to be ready for the World Cup, so missing it will be a big blow."
Will David Beckham play for England again after his apparent Achilles tendon injury?