Ben Foster has been ruled out of action for three months -- after scans confirmed a stress fracture of a bone in his right foot.
The West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper's concerns have been realised following the injury he suffered against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The fracture comes at the worst possible time for Foster, who was expecting to be part of Roy Hodgson's England squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
With the concerns about the form of first-choice England goalkeeper Joe Hart, Foster would have been given serious consideration as a possible starter for the two crucial games which will go a long way to deciding whether England will be part of the finals in Brazil next summer.
Foster was forced off in the 77th minute and will undergo surgery in the next few days and Albion head coach Steve Clarke has been told to expect to be without his No. 1 for up to 12 weeks.
Clarke said: "There’s no hiding the fact this is disappointing news as Ben is a key player for us. He was excellent on Saturday before his injury forced him off.
"In the meantime, I’ve got two other very good goalkeepers to choose from."
Luke Daniels deputised for Foster at Goodison, making his Premier League debut, but Clarke is expected to pass the goalkeeping duties on to Boaz Myhill.
The Wales international has missed most of the season so far, but is now back in full training after recovering from a wrist injury.
Clarke relied upon Myhill last season for a period when Foster was out injured and he has reiterated his full support for the back-up goalkeeper.
"Boaz did well when he deputised for Ben last season and Luke showed on Saturday he is a more than capable goalkeeper," said Clarke.