Concern lingers over Bopara
Ravi Bopara's injury misfortune may be about to prove a bitter blow personally.
If the middle-order batsman's torn thigh muscle places his participation in next week's first Test in doubt, or prevents it altogether, it will also force England's selectors into the inconvenience of a last-minute rethink before they announce their squad on Sunday morning to face West Indies at Lord's.
For someone else, though - most likely one of the uncapped pair Jonny Bairstow or James Taylor, perhaps Samit Patel or even Nick Compton - unexpected opportunity will be about to knock.
Unconfirmed reports of the extent of Bopara's discomfort have been conflicting, after he had to leave the field having bowled one over of his occasional medium-pace for Essex at Chelmsford on Friday.
What is known, though, is that Bopara went for a scan on Thursday night and received the diagnosis on Saturday morning of what sounds like a relatively minor injury.
He was subsequently able to bat against Kent on Saturday, beginning with a runner, dispatching him and then having to recall him - all on the way to his lunchtime score of five not out.
In those uncertain circumstances, it is hard to envisage world-beating England taking an unwise punt on the fitness of a specialist batsman.
It might have been easier, however, for them to apply that sort of conservatism and pragmatism were the contenders to deputise for Bopara not so short on Test experience.
Patel was chosen ahead of Bopara in England's last two Tests in Sri Lanka, where the former's ability as a second spinner and the latter's side strain helped to make that decision.
But the three remaining 'possibles' have just 13 one-day international/Twenty 20 caps between them - all but Taylor's one belonging to Bairstow.
The Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman and Compton do, by degree, have appropriate lineage - via respective father and grandfather - as well as their own individual promise.
Of those in the frame, should Bopara's bad luck rob him of a Test recall - as has begun to seem increasingly likely - Bairstow appears to narrowly lead the field, ahead of Taylor.
The intrigue may well persist, however, beyond Sunday when it is perhaps most likely that Bopara is named in a 14-man squad with an extra batsman as cover.
England's selectors had on Friday already settled on 13 names - presumably including an additional pace bowler to account for all bases - shortly before news began to spread of Bopara's injury.
The pecking order of seamers will depend on the prevailing conditions, of course.
But at this stage the odds are that Steve Finn shades the verdict to join Stuart Broad and James Anderson in a three-strong seam attack - ahead of Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions.
England probable squad (v West Indies, first Test at Lord's on May 17): AJ Strauss (Captain), AN Cook, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, IR Bell, RS Bopara, MJ Prior (wkt), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, ST Finn, JM Anderson, TT Bresnan, G Onions, JM Bairstow.