Ravi Bopara's broken thumb has ruled him out of the last two one-day matches against India and the World Twenty20.
Bopara has made a big impression in England's one-day side
The 22-year-old Essex all-rounder is also doubtful for the one-day series in Sri Lanka in early October.
Chairman of selectors David Graveney said he would be out for 4-6 weeks, adding: "It's desperately disappointing for him to miss out on the Twenty20."
There was a further scare with Surrey's Chris Schofield needing stitches in his hand, but he should recover in time.
The 28-year-old split the webbing between thumb and forefinger on his left hand while fielding in his county's Pro40 day-night match against Kent.
He immediately left the field for treatment but Schofield is confident he will be ready for their first ICC World Twenty20 game against Zimbabwe at Newlands in Cape Town on 13 September.
"I've had four stitches but hopefully I will be all right for the World Cup," he said. "The stitches should be coming out in seven days' time and so I should be OK.
"I am very hopeful I will still be going to South Africa."
Bopara suffered his injury in England's defeat in the fifth ODI versus India.
Graveney added: "It's an injury to his bowling hand, bottom hand batting-wise, but let's not be pessimistic; let's hope it recovers quickly."
Andrew Flintoff is also a major doubt for the Twenty20 tournament, which starts in South Africa on 11 September, because of new problems with his left ankle.