When Newcastle striker Michael Owen broke his little toe in a collision with Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson on New Year's Eve the subsequent TV highlights programmes sensationalised the effects it would have on the England's chances at this summer's World Cup.
'Sven must be very concerned' about this 'huge setback to England's hopes' the various outlets informed us, in the typically exaggerated style which Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has recently lamented.
We were informed of this World Cup bombshell despite the public declaration by Newcastle, following the final whistle at White Hart Lane, that Owen would be out for 13 weeks at the most. A huge blow for the Magpies yes, but a blow for England? Hardly.
Owen has already undergone a successful operation to have his fifth metatarsal pinned and should return to action in approximately 10 weeks - leaving six weeks of the Premiership season for the Toon number ten to return to full fitness.
Far from being a problem for England it is in fact a boon. The 26-year-old striker, who has scored 33 goals in 74 internationals, should return hungry for goals and fresh for the finals in Germany.
If England manager Sven Goran Eriksson could give all his squad an extended layoff at this point in the domestic season he would certainly do it. The Premiership does not enjoy a winter break, such as England skipper David Beckham does in La Liga, so any fortuitous events are beneficial.
At the last World Cup the lacklustre performances of the established European powerhouses was blamed on the fatigue of long domestic seasons. England certainly latched onto this excuse after some poor second-half displays in Korea/Japan 2002 and Eriksson lobbied for the Premiership season to end early ahead of Germany 2006 to allow his players time to recover.
The FA subsequently claimed to have successfully granted the Swede's wish and the blame for the resulting fixture congestion over the recent Christmas period was laid squarely with Eriksson, by both the newspapers and the Premier League.
However, in 2004 FIFA had already issued directives that the major competitions in the 2005/2006 season - including cup finals - must be completed in all confederations and associations by May 14, 2006 at the latest. This reaction by World football's governing to the criticism it received after the 2002 finals had already imposed the early finish Eriksson demanded, and that the FA claimed to have delivered.
Going back to Owen, any hiatus that enables his England players to rest must secretly please Eriksson, although publicly he could never admit it. The Swede has the high expectations of either victory or glorious failure to Brazil as the only acceptable outcomes in the Summer and needs to glean any advantage he can.
Similarly, Gary Neville's extended lay-off at the start of the 2005/06 season should prove a plus for his country. The right-back was sidelined for nearly three months with a groin injury following a 44-game season for the Manchester United and England regular.
The 30-year-old defender returned to action in sparkling form for his club and was rewarded with the captain's armband following the departure from Old Trafford of Roy Keane.
Of slightly more concern for England will be the opposite full-back position. Arsenal's Ashley Cole, hailed by Eriksson as probably the best left-back in the world, has not played since suffering a stress fracture in his foot in October 2005.
However, the 25-year-old defender is set to return to action in a few weeks and should be fully fit and eager to impress on the international stage by the time England kick-off their World Cup campaign against Paraguay on June 10.
The injuries that have been such a difficulty for club should prove beneficial for country. The players that pose the biggest concern are those stalwarts who continue to play without a break.
Only flu prevented Chelsea's Frank Lampard, runner-up for this term's European and World Player of the Year Award, from making his 165th consecutive Premiership appearance over the festive period and Blues skipper John Terry, tipped to be the next England captain, has been the constant at the heart of Chelsea's changing defence.
The duo have key roles to play for England at the World Cup this summer and Eriksson would surely not be averse to them enjoying an extended stay on sidelines - and neither would the pretenders to Chelsea's Premiership crown.