Wayne Rooney to miss England's qualifiers with Estonia and Lithuania
England have confirmed that captain Wayne Rooney will miss the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania through injury.
For the third day in succession the 29-year-old forward was unable to train with his international teammates after an ankle complaint sustained in Manchester United's defeat to Arsenal.
England said that he will miss Friday's clash with Estonia as a result, and Roy Hodgson later confirmed that the striker would not make the trip to Lithuania next week.
Hodgson said he would be "devastated" should the Manchester United striker exacerbate the problem while on international duty.
"It's settling down very, very well," Hodgson said of the injury at a news conference. "But we don't want to risk him tomorrow. He's got lots of important Manchester United games ahead and I would be devastated if we pushed him out there and something happened to increase the problem with the ankle, so we've decided it's better if he doesn't play in this game.
"The important thing now is for Wayne to recover from this minor injury and to be fully fit the next time Manchester United play Saturday week."
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill will captain the side in Rooney's absence, but he said being captain would not change his game.
"I don't really want to change anything in my game or the way I approach the game," Cahill said. "I don't think just because I've got the armband on I should necessarily change and start ranting and raving at people. I think I'm a laid-back guy off the pitch, I think on the pitch I'm very vocal."
Regardless of the injury, Rooney is expected to attend the final Wembley qualifier as he wants to pick up his commemorative golden boot for breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's scoring record.
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Rooney last month broke the 45-year long record with a penalty against Switzerland and will receive the boot from the 1966 World Cup winner before kick off.
Hodgson added: "It's disappointing for us, disappointing for Wayne of course, but maybe nice for Gary to have the chance to captain the team because he's been vice captain for a long time."
Theo Walcott appears the most likely replacement up front for Roy Hodgson's men, especially as Danny Ings is also set to miss the Estonia encounter.
Hodgson said Ings' ankle had responded well to treatment and the Liverpool man could be fit for Monday's game.
The Liverpool striker is in the England squad for the first time, but again sat out training at St George's Park on Thursday with an ankle complaint.
Jonjo Shelvey returned to action but Hodgson said he is a doubt to face Estonia.
Michael Carrick, who sat out training on Thursday, was rested to give him the best chance of being fit to play at Wembley, Hodgson said.
Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker were involved, having been drafted into the squad following the withdrawal of John Stones earlier in the week.
Despite already having qualified for the European Championships, Hodgson said this was no time for experimentation with his team selection.
"We are not in an experimental mode, we think we've done enough experimenting," he said. "We think we do know what we want to do, we think we know the players who are capable of helping us to do what we want to do."
Hodgson also hit out at the seeding system for Euro 2016, with England not certain to be among the top-ranked sides, despite having a 100 percent record in qualifying.
"I don't understand the seeds, I've got to say I find it very hard to understand how the FIFA rankings work," he said. "I don't understand how we can play 13 games unbeaten and win 10 of those and draw three, I don't understand how we can be top of our group with 24 points and teams that are above us have six points less, I don't quite understand how it works. Because it's such a mystery to me I just have to wait and see where we're seeded."