Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and Cardiff City's Steven Caulker have been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier against Moldova on Friday.

23-year-old Sturridge has returned to Liverpool to receive further treatment but could be fit to play against Ukraine next week, with Southampton striker Rickie Lambert to lead the line tomorrow at Wembley ahead of Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe

"(Sturridge) has worked hard at his treatment and the initial prognosis was that he wouldn't be fit for either of them but he didn't accept that," Hodgson told a press conference, ITV Sport report.

"He's worked very hard and had the necessary treatment but I think it will be touch and go."

The in-form striker's absence is a further blow to England's plans with Wayne Rooney also to miss tomorrow's game in addition to Tuesday's trip to Ukraine, leaving manager Roy Hodgson with a worrying lack of depth up front.

Sturridge has enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2013/14 season, revelling in a lead striking role for Liverpool where he has scored three goals in three Premier League games to lift his side to the summit of the league, in addition to scoring twice in the Capital One Cup.

His recent form had the former Chelsea and Manchester City striker ranked as favourite to take the lead central striker role at the focal point of England's attack, but Saints star Lambert has been selected to fill the void in his absence.

The Liverpool man is the latest in a spate of withdrawals to leave the England camp ahead of crucial qualifiers, joining Rooney, Phil Jones and Glen Johnson on the absentee list.

Cardiff City's Steven Caulker was called up earlier this week to ease the pressure on a rapidly thinning squad, but Hodgson confirmed on Thursday evening that the former Spurs defender will also miss the clash against Moldova.

"Unfortunately, in training he turned his ankle. It's not a serious matter but it will keep him out of the game tomorrow night," Hodgson said of Caulker.

"It won't keep him out of the Ukraine game, he's expected to do some running tomorrow evening, but he won't be on the bench tomorrow night."

Manchester United striker Rooney yesterday released photos revealing the severity of a cut to his head that has ruled him out of both of England's qualifiers, an injury that his club manager David Moyes believes will keep him out of action for at least a couple of weeks.

England currently sit in second of Group H, trailing leaders Montenegro by two points with Tuesday's opponents Ukraine just a single point behind them in third.