Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will not be able to return in time for their game at Newcastle on Saturday.
The 30-year-old has been out of action for the last three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury whilst on international duty for England in November, but was thought to be in contention for the game at St. James' Park.
With the Toon Army in disarray following the departure of Chris Hughton and the appointment of Alan Pardew, Gerrard would have relished the prospect of returning to a ground where he has scored on his past two visits.
But boss Roy Hodgson stated that he had no idea where reports he would play came from and that a far more likely prospect was the following week's game at home to Fulham.
"I don't know where the stories came from that Gerrard would be fit for Newcastle," said Hodgson.
"We have always been thinking he would be fit to face Fulham the following weekend, it would be much too early to consider him for Newcastle.
"But he is making very good progress, which we are happy with, and he is absolutely on schedule but Newcastle was an unrealistic target."
Another player who could come back for the Fulham encounter is Daniel Agger, who has been out since September with a calf problem.
"He is much better and really pushing himself beyond what we could expect him to do," added the Reds boss.
"His attitude is first class and we are targeting the Fulham game.
"The sports science people tell me it is too soon and he needs a bit longer but in my conversations with him he is in agreement that Fulham is not out of the question and he is pushing for it."