Ghana’s Sulley Muntari is an injury doubt for Sunday’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Congo and next Tuesday’s friendly against Wembley.
The Sunderland midfielder limped off with a calf injury after just 19 minutes of Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool in the Premier League.
“I can’t see Muntari joining up with Ghana,” said Sunderland coach Steve Bruce after the match.
The Black Stars face England 48 hours after their Group I tie in Brazzaville.
The news is a further headache for Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic, who must already prepare for the clash with Fabio Capello’s side without Michael Essien.
The Serb had been hoping the Chelsea star would end his break from international football, with the midfielder having not represented Ghana since picking up an injury at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
One player already out of this weekend’s Nations Cup qualifiers is reigning Nigerian Footballer of the Year, Vincent Enyeama.
The Israel-based goalkeeper has an ankle problem which doctors at Hapoel Tel Aviv are insisting he rest, so forcing him to miss this weekend’s home clash with Ethiopia in Group B.
Elsewhere, new South Africa captain Steven Pienaar, who replaced deposed Aaron Mokoena last week, is a big doubt for Saturday’s critical Group G match at home to Egypt.
Pienaar is battling a groin injury which forced him to miss Tottenham Hostpur’s goalless draw at home to West Ham on Saturday.
Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane is also sweating on the fitness of World Cup star Siphiwe Tshabalala, who has a hamstring problem.
“I am a bit concerned with the injury list, but I am hopeful that the players will fully recover by Saturday,” said Mosimane.
Pienaar’s absence would be a blow for Mosimane, who would need to promote another captain just days after dropping long-term skipper Mokoena.
Saturday’s match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg is set to play a huge role in who will qualify from Group G.
Should Bafana Bafana win at home, they will lead Egypt – the reigning African champions – by six points with only three qualifiers left.
Elsewhere, Algerian Madjid Bougherra is a doubt for Sunday’s North African derby at home to Morocco.
The tall defender came off near the end of regulation time as his Glasgow Rangers side won the Scottish League Cup, beating Celtic 2-1 after extra-time in the final.
Bougherra believes he may have damaged a hamstring, putting his place in the tantalising Algiers clash in doubt.
Algeria, who contested last year’s World Cup finals, lie bottom of Group D with just one point, trailing both surprise leaders Central African Republic and Morocco by three points.