England midfielder Frank Lampard has been ruled out of Euro 2012 due to a thigh injury.
The Chelsea midfielder sustained the problem in training on Wednesday and went for a scan on Thursday afternoon to discover the extent of the damage.
However, Lampard and manager Roy Hodgson were preparing for the worst and the Football Association have now confirmed the player, who will be 34 next month, will not be part of England's 23-man squad.
It is devastating news for England, who have already had to deal with the loss of one midfielder, Manchester City's Gareth Barry who suffered a stomach injury in Saturday's friendly win over Norway.
And for Lampard, it potentially spells the end of his entire England career, with Hodgson expected to offer the younger midfielders a chance to prove themselves during next autumn's World Cup qualifying programme.
Jordan Henderson will be called into the England squad providing Hodgson gets the green light from UEFA, which should be automatic as Lampard has suffered a fresh injury after Tuesday's deadline.
What makes this latest twist even more galling is that Lampard was only in his second day of training, having joined the Three Lions party late after winning the Champions League with his club, in Munich, on May 19.
Hodgson said: "It's a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry.
"The fact that the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any of the group matches means we have to replace him in the central midfield area.
"Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I'm especially disappointed for Frank himself.
"He has been in very good form and was looking forward to the tournament.
"He made a huge contribution towards us qualifying for the Euros so it is cruel to be forced out through injury just before the tournament."
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what do you think?
Hi the BBC 6 oclock news seems to have missed this piece I hope he now gets a proper rest as we are back into competitive football very soon
The ready made excuses are stacking up. Papers might aswell start printing now
Henderson? Is he trying to put together all the English elements of the Liverpool team he failed to manage effectively when he was there? 3 games and back home
Erm Downing Henderson and Carroll weren't there when he was manager ! There bad luck at Anfield this season has to change soon maybe this summer
Why not take adam johnson a lot better and faster than henderson, he did nothing at liverpool all season pathetic
totally agree,roy worrys me all ready
Mmmm did you watch Liverpool every week typical moaning negativity from armchair so called fans
Lumplard" is over rated and over the hill.
Too many pies me thinks
This is bad news? One of the 'golden generation' is out? Great news! Now give youth a chance instead of proven FAILURES.