Danny Welbeck scored his first England goal to earn a 1-0 victory in their final Euro 2012 warm-up match against Belgium at Wembley.
Welbeck netted the only goal after 37 minutes to press his claims for a place in the starting line-up in the tournament opener against France on June 11.
But defender Gary Cahill gave England another fitness concern and was having a precautionary x-ray on his jaw after being substituted in the first-half.
After a bright start from the visitors, it was 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that went close early-on, when he flashed a powerful drive narrowly over the bar.
Belgium's only opportunity was created for Axel Witsel by Mertens, who was also responsible for the incident that ended with Cahill needing his X-ray.
Partnering Chelsea team-mate John Terry at the heart of England's defence, Cahill was trying to shepherd the ball back to Hart when he was shoved in the back by Mertens and went crashing into his keeper.
It was a nasty collision and Cahill did not even try to continue, looking groggy as he ruefully rubbed his jaw on the way off.
Having to sweat on the outcome of medical checks was the last thing Hodgson needed, having already used his standby defender, Phil Jagielka, to replace Barry earlier in the week.
Indeed, the whole contest was far more physical that Hodgson would have wanted.
Trevor Cherry remains the only England player to get himself sent off in a friendly but Ashley Cole and Scott Parker were both booked as the tackles flew in from both sides.
Cahill's replacement, Lescott, finished the game sporting an enormous Terry Butcher-style bandage after sustaining a nasty cut above the eye.
Under the circumstances, Wayne Rooney might have been well out of it.
Hodgson brought him on though, utilising his star man for the first time, and the last until England face Ukraine on June 19, as Welbeck's input was brought to an end seven minutes after the restart.
Rooney ended the game as captain too, suggesting he will end up being Gerrard's deputy as skipper.
Fellow substitute Jermain Defoe later almost profited from Theo Walcott's lay-off as he rasped a shot against the far post.
Largely though, Belgium dominated, with Gillet firing a long-range effort against the outside of a post and Marouane Fellaini also coming close.
Imminent Chelsea new boy Eden Hazard sparkled at times without finding a breakthrough and it seems Hodgson's England will settle on a policy of being difficult to beat when they depart for their Krakow base on Wednesday.