Alexander Hleb is almost certain to miss the World Cup qualifier against England tomorrow but Fabio Capello’s men are waiting for confirmation the Belarus captain has been ruled out.
The former Arsenal midfielder, 27, has been sidelined with an ankle injury sustained last month after joining Barcelona in the summer for around £12m.
Belarus’ most celebrated player has not featured since his club’s draw against Racing Santander on September 13 but was included in Bernd Stange’s squad to face England at Dinamo Stadium in Minsk.
With Capello missing captain John Terry and left-back Ashley Cole, Hleb had been seen as the key man in Belarus’ attempt to end England’s 100% start in Group Six.
Stange’s men have three points from their first two games, a win over Andorra and a last-gasp defeat to Ukraine when Andriy Shevchenko scored a penalty in stoppage time.
Since announcing his squad, Stange has been quoted suggesting “our biggest problem is that our best player cannot play”.