England must make do without the services of midfield regular Kalvin Phillips for their upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header.
The Leeds midfielder – a favourite of Gareth Southgate’s and the reigning England Player of the Year – has a calf injury. Sustained in the weekend win over Watford, he now misses out on matches against Andorra and Hungary.
The player was assessed by England’s medical staff, but has now withdrawn.
His absence means Southampton captain James-Ward Prowse has been called into the squad as a replacement. Ward-Prowse, 26, joins Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell in the squad after the pair were added on Monday.
Ward-Prowse returns to the squad having been involved prior to Euro 2020 but failing to make the final 26-man group.
News of Phillips’ injury comes after Chelsea full-back Reece James was forced to pull out on Monday.
The 21-year-old suffered an ankle injury in Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City on September 25. He’s since missed their last two matches.
Southgate’s side face Andorra away on Saturday before hosting Hungary at Wembley next Tuesday.
England are four points clear at the top of Group I. That’s after winning five and drawing one of their opening six matches.
Mourinho endorses Abraham call for England
The return of Abraham to the reckoning, however, will create something of interest.
To date, the striker has scored four goals and provided three assists for Roma, across 10 appearances in all competitions.
And the move has been backed by their manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho said last month of Abraham: “I am trying to create a monster of a forward for Gareth Southgate.
“Unless he doesn’t have proper eyes and still not call him up with the England national team, then I would suggest for Tammy to switch countries.
“He deserves more caps under his name.”