(Reuters) - Defender Phil Jagielka has withdrawn from the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia after sustaining a thigh injury, the Football Association said on Friday.
“While the injury is not considered to be serious, he will return to Everton to be assessed,” the club said in a statement on their website (www.evertonfc.com)
No immediate replacement will be called up for the Everton centre back, the FA added.
The 34-year-old, who has 39 international caps, will be the third player to pull out from the initial England squad for the qualifiers, following the withdrawals of Glen Johnson and Raheem Sterling.
England host Malta at Wembley Stadium on Saturday before travelling to take on Slovenia three days later.
England enjoyed a last-gasp 1-0 victory away to Slovakia in their opening Group F game last month. The group also includes Scotland and Lithuania.
Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien