Wayne Rooney has been named in the England squad for the summer internationals - despite being earlier ruled out of contention by his club.
But long-time first-choice goalkeeper David Seaman has been left out.
Everton striker Rooney damaged medial knee ligaments during their defeat by Manchester United on Sunday.
But England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is still hopeful Rooney can play in the match against South Africa in Durban on 22 May.
"Our doctor is talking to the Everton doctor, but I hope he can travel," Eriksson said on Monday.
"It will be very good for him. Every day he is with the other players he is brought into the family even more."
Toffees boss David Moyes - who was always against his star striker being picked for the squad - insisted his club had not fabricated the problem.
"It's a genuine injury and the scan is there to prove it," said the Scot.
"Wayne has got a tear on his knee ligament. It's not severe and won't keep him out too long, but I expect it will keep him out for a couple of weeks."
That would keep Rooney out against South Africa but mean he could feature in the other friendly against Serbia- Montenegro (3 June) and the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia (11 June).
However, David Seaman will not take part in any of those games after the experienced goalkeeper was left out of Eriksson's 25-man party.
David James will keep the number one jersey, with Leicester goalkeeper Ian Walker also recalled to the squad after a long absence.
But Eriksson denied that Seaman's England career was over.
"It is better that David James remains in place for this one competitive game," the coach said.
"We shall re-assess David Seaman's situation after the summer."
Seaman's Arsenal colleague Ashley Cole, along with Southampton players James Beattie and Wayne Bridge, will miss the South Africa game because it comes less than one week after Saturday's FA Cup final.
They will join the squad after the game in Durban, along with Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves who is playing in the German Cup final on 30 May.
It had been expected Sol Campbell would be in the squad after the FA revealed it had changed its own rule to allow Eriksson to pick players serving bans in domestic football.
But the Arsenal centre-back was left out along with injured players Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Francis Jeffers, Wes Brown and
There were places, however, for Man Utd's Phil Neville, Birmingham's Matthew Upson and West Ham winger Trevor Sinclair - the latter despite his club's relegation on Sunday.
"I think he will be happy after this season to be in the squad again," the Swede said of Sinclair.
"I think he deserves it. He has been playing very well lately."
Eriksson pledged that he will not play one team in one half and a different team in the other half against South Africa.
The England boss has been criticised for just that practice in previous friendlies but he said: "Our approach to South Africa will be different. I will not change 11 players after 45 minutes.
"The two friendlies are preparation for Slovakia. We need games. It is quite different."
James (West Ham), Robinson (Leeds), Walker (Leicester).
Bridge* (Southampton), Mills (Leeds), P Neville (Man Utd), Ferdinand (Man Utd),
Southgate (Middlesbrough), Terry (Chelsea), Upson (Birmingham City)
(Man Utd), Scholes (Man Utd), Dyer (Newcastle), Jenas (Newcastle), Hargreaves*
(Bayern Munich), Murphy (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Gerrard (Liverpool),
Sinclair (West Ham);
Owen (Liverpool), Heskey (Liverpool), Rooney (Everton),
Vassell (Aston Villa), Beattie* (Southampton).
* Ashley Cole, Wayne Bridge, Owen Hargreaves and James Beattie to join up with squad after South Africa match