Everton striker Andy Johnson looks increasingly likely to miss England's Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia, after the club confirmed he is to have an ankle operation at the end of the season.
Johnson is currently struggling with an injury to his right ankle but it is the left ankle that needs to go under the surgeon's knife at the campaign's close.
It looks likely that Johnson will miss Brazil's visit to the new Wembley on 1st June and with the Estonia game just five days later, England boss Steve McClaren will almost certainly have to look at alternative options.
Everton head physio Mick Rathbone has explained that the club had hoped rest and recuperation could have solved the problem, but now they have concluded an operation is unavoidable.
"After injuring his right ankle, we were hopeful that the subsequent period of rest would help his left ankle," he informed the club's official website.
"However, that has not been the case and the player will have an operation as soon after the final match of the season as possible.
"Andy has had the problem for a number of months now and it is getting no better."
News of Johnson's probable absence is likely to increase the clamour for the inclusion of Michael Owen, following the Newcastle man's successful comeback from injury against Reading on Monday.