Fabio Capello has been handed a pre-World Cup setback after Ashley Cole was ruled out for three months with a broken ankle.
The Chelsea star suffered the blow following a full-blooded challenge with Everton's Landon Donovan during the Blues' 2-1 Premier League defeat on February 10.
Donovan and Cole had looked set to go head-to-head when England face the USA at the World Cup in a Group C fixture on 12 June in Rustenburg.
But with Cole's chances of travelling to the showpiece event now in jeopardy, Capello must look at potential replacements.
England remain one of the sportsbook online favourites to win the top prize in the summer, despite the news that Cole could miss out.
With the upcoming friendly against Egypt the perfect opportunity to fill Cole's void, aspiring stand-in left-backs now have the chance to shine.
We take a look at those expected to be at the forefront of the Italian's mind.
Wayne Bridge - Automatic second-choice behind Cole in recent years, but his private life wrangle with now deposed captain John Terry has added to Capello's headaches.
Bridge is a fine defender although he lacks the attacking threat and pace Cole possesses.
The former Chelsea player has recently returned to first-team action after an ankle injury of his own and is rebuilding his season after a succession of setbacks - both on and off the pitch.
Joleon Lescott - Bridge's Manchester City team-mate. He predominantly plays at centre-half, but has been known to slip into the left-back slot.
Tall, strong and confident, Lescott is likely to make the final squad of 23 and could act as vital cover across the back-four.
Gareth Barry - The third of the possible options plying their trade with the Citizens could be moulded into the position.
Barry acts as a midfield anchor-man alongside Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard usually but, with his sweet left peg, the former Aston Villa man could be a fine addition into the problem position. Like Lescott, Barry can play in a range of positions.
Leighton Baines - Everton's improving defender is going about his business quietly after a succession of fine performances this term.
The 25-year-old hasn't won a first England cap yet but there are calls for his admission after making two of Capello's squads last year.
Stephen Warnock - The former Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers man has been in fine form for Aston Villa this season and his burgeoning reputation is making Capello take notice.
Warnock has featured heavily in Villa's back-line that has conceded just 19 Premier League goals so far this season.
He has a brief international record, having played just eight minutes for his country after coming off the bench to replace Bridge in the 3-0 friendly win over Trinidad & Tobago in May 2008.