Danny Welbeck was one of two England players to miss a training session on 22 March as Roy Hodgson's side began their preparations for an upcoming friendly double-header against Germany and the Netherlands. Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand was also absent as a 23-man squad assembled at the national football centre at St George's Park in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.
Sky Sports report that Welbeck, who only returned to action in mid-February after 10 months out with a serious knee problem that eventually required surgery, did not take part as per an agreement with Arsenal over a personalised fitness programme. Bertrand, meanwhile, is undergoing assessment from England's medical staff having sustained an unspecified injury during Southampton's rousing comeback victory over Liverpool last weekend. The Saints were 2-0 down at half-time in that one, but came roaring back after the break courtesy of Graziano Pelle and a brace from substitute Sadio Mane, who also missed a penalty.
England have already been hit with two withdrawals ahead of their trip to Berlin after Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Joe Hart sustained groin and calf muscle injuries respectively during the derby defeat to Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium. Assistant coach and Valencia manager Gary Neville has agreed to join up with the squad later than usual on Thursday (24 March) as he stays behind to work with the La Liga club following their third consecutive defeat to Celta Vigo. Los Che are only six points above the relegation zone with eight matches of the season remaining.
The Three Lions face world champions Germany at the Olympiastadion on Saturday 26 March and return to Wembley three days later to take on a Netherlands side managed by Danny Blind that failed to qualify for the European Championship finals in France this summer. Uncapped Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater could make his debut after being called up to the senior international set-up for the very first time in recognition for his tireless work in helping Claudio Ranieri's side to build a shock five-point lead at the top of the Premier League. Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has also been added as a replacement for Hart.
23-man England squad for friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Fraser Forster (Southampton)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool)
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)