Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has become the fifth injury withdrawal from Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
The Three Lions kick-off their Euro 2020 qualification campaign at home to the Czech Republic on Friday, before heading to Montenegro for their second Group A match on Monday.
Southgate initially named a 25-strong squad for the match, but injuries have taken their toll and Alexander-Arnold has become the latest to drop out.
Press Association Sport understands that the 20-year-old has had a back issue since Liverpool hosted Burnley 10 days ago and reported to St George’s Park in the hope of recovering in time to represent England.
However, the full-back has not managed to overcome the issue and on Wednesday pulled out of the group that is now down to 22 names.
A statement from the Football Association read: “Trent Alexander-Arnold has withdrawn from the England squad and returned to Liverpool.
“The right-back arrived nursing a back injury and, despite progress in recent days, it was unlikely he would be able to play a role in the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers.
“The 20-year-old will now continue his rehabilitation at his club leaving Gareth Southgate with a 22-man squad.”
Fabian Delph, John Stones, Luke Shaw and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have already pulled out, while Marcus Rashford is reportedly nursing an ankle complaint.
Highly-rated Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi has been brought in despite yet having made a league start, with Southgate also turning to in-form Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.