There was shock and horror in the England training camp this morning when it was revealed that Chelsea captain John Terry may be forced into early retirement from international and top flight football through injury.
Terry, who is also the national team captain, has been dogged by a series of injuries to his back, hamstring, knee, face, arse and various other parts of his body, and now seems 'prone to injury at the slightest touch'.
He will miss Saturday's World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan, and is likely to fail to recover in time for next week's game with Belarus in Minsk.
The defender suffered a recurrence of the back injury in Chelsea's Champions League tie against CFR Cluj last week, and required more treatment during and after their Premiership match against Aston Villa on Sunday.
The specialist treatment involved 'a knee being repeatedly pushed into the small of Terry's back with force', but England medics claim this has now exacerbated the problem, and the 27-year-old now faces extensive surgery if his career is to be saved.
Terry famously fell on his arse when skewing a vital penalty kick in the Champions League Final against Liverpool last season, a miss which cost the Blues the trophy.
His reliability has been under scrutiny ever since.
Terry's England partner Rio Ferdinand summed-up the Chelsea supremo's misery when he said:
"His back hurts."