England captain John Terry is a major doubt for England's World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan on Saturday - meaning Rio Ferdinand could get the chance to lead his country once again.
Terry has been troubled by a back complaint since a recurrence against CFR Cluj last week and was only able to play a partial role in training on Wednesday, while he sat out completely on Thursday.
The Chelsea defender was put through some light exercises on Wednesday, but was forced to watch on from the sidelines 24 hours later.
With Fabio Capello stressing in the past that he is unwilling to risk players that are not fully fit, time appears to be running out for Terry.
If called upon to lead the side, however, Ferdinand will be hoping to oversee two wins and help push England closer to a competition he is desperate to win.
The Manchester United defender has always said he will assess his success in the game by the number of trophies in his cabinet when he finally decides to retire and admits a lack of success with the national team is a real bugbear.
''With England I have been very disappointed,'' said the 29-year-old.
''It's not just that I have never won anything with England, I have not even been in a position to win something by getting to a major final.
''I regard that is disappointing and the hunger to achieve something is only enhanced by the trophies I have won with Manchester United.''
Many pundits felt he was unlucky not to get the captaincy from Fabio Capello in preference to Terry on the basis that if either man's place was to come under threat, it would be the Chelsea skipper.
Injury troubles for Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King have effectively ended their chances of muscling in, few seriously consider Upson as a like-for-like replacement, while emerging Middlesbrough youngster David Wheater still has a lot of developing to do.
While the Football Association have yet to officially rule Terry out of the match, reports suggest the likes of Matthew Upson and Joleon Lescott are already being readied to start on Saturday, and could even be required for the match with Belarus next week.
The remainder of Capello's 23-man squad were able to train on Thursday, including Emile Heskey and Jermaine Jenas, who had also been suffering with back problems.