Chelsea captain John Terry is set to undergo knee surgery and be out for up to two months, a person familiar with the situation said, relieving England of a potential selection headache.
Terry has not played for more than three weeks and Chelsea medics decided on Tuesday that the defender must undergo an operation on his right knee, the person said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the extent of the injury is not being discussed publicly.
Terry trained Monday in Italy on the eve of Chelsea's Champions League match against Napoli but woke up in discomfort a day later.
The injury saves interim England coach Stuart Pearce from having to decide whether to select Terry and Rio Ferdinand in the squad for next Wednesday's friendly against the Netherlands.
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy earlier this month due to his upcoming trial for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.
Fabio Capello quit as England coach after the Football Association stripped Terry of the captaincy without consulting the Italian.
Terry's absence will be less of a blow for England than Chelsea, who haven't won a game since he last played on Jan. 28 against QPR. Chelsea have slipped to fifth in the Premier League and drew against Birmingham in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Terry has been troubled by the knee injury since colliding with a post last month in the FA Cup match against Portsmouth.