Yossi Benayoun claims he is more interested in getting fit than helping England qualify for Euro 2008.
Injury means the Liverpool midfielder will stand down as Israel captain on Sunday when they host Russia in a qualifying match where an away win would all but end England's hopes of reaching the finals.
Benayoun suffered a groin injury in the victory against Fulham on Saturday and is expected to be out for three weeks.
England are looking for Israel to claim a win and keep their hopes alive.
Benayoun was expected to play a key role and according to the player his Liverpool team-mates, England duo Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch, are disappointed he is ruled out.
'Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch have been driving me crazy in the last few weeks,' Benayoun told Israel's Sport 5.
'But my health is more important than England's needs and I must rest and take care of myself.'