Tottenham Hotspur defender Vlad Chiriches has been ruled out of Romania's World Cup play-off double-header with Greece due to injury.
Chiriches suffered a fractured nose during Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday.
The influential centre-half sustained the problem in a collision with Yoan Gouffran and had to be substituted during the half-time break at White Hart Lane.
"Chiriches will miss both legs of the play-off," the Romanian Football Federation confirmed on Monday.
Romania coach Victor Piturca plans to replace the 23-year-old with Dragos Grigore of Dinamo Bucharest.
The absence of Chiriches, capped 22 times by Romania since making his debut in 2011, is a big blow for the team's bid to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1998.
"Chiriches is very important for us, not only because he's our captain," said Piturca. "But as I said many times, no team is dependent on only one player."
Piturca added 11 home-based players, including five from champions Steaua Bucharest, in his 24-man squad.
However, there is no place for Ajaccio's Adrian Mutu, Romania's all-time joint leading scorer with 35 goals in 77 internationals, and Manchester City keeper Costel Pantilimon despite his impressive performances in recent weeks.
In another surprise move, Piturca has excluded Kuban Krasnodar striker Gheorghe Bucur from his final squad despite naming him among overseas players for the Greece matches earlier this month.
Romania and Greece clash for a place at next year's World Cup on Friday and on November 9.