Roy Hodgson was set to name a preliminary squad to prepare for the European Championship finals on Thursday (12 May) in an official event at Wembley Stadium, only for news to filter through that the England manager, after meeting with his coaches, had chosen to delay such an announcement in order to get greater clarity on a number of injury worries that still persist with a handful of players.
His penultimate selection is now set to be revealed on Monday, with a deadline of 31 May for a final 23-man travelling party to be confirmed. Hopefuls not yet guaranteed a place in the streamlined squad will have a chance to further stake their respective claims in pre-tournament warm-up friendlies against Turkey and Australia, while England's final outing before their Euro opener against Russia in Marseille comes at home to Portugal.
Ahead of that initial announcement, IBTimes UK looks at the issues facing Hodgson ahead of his third and likely final major competition in charge.
Who will be fit?
Versatile forward Danny Welbeck can now sadly be officially discounted after Arsenal revealed he is set to be out for nine months as a result of surgery to correct "significant" cartilage damage to his right knee suffered during the 2-2 draw against Manchester City last weekend. It is another devastating blow for the 25-year-old, who only returned from a 10-month absence in February.
Hodgson will be keeping a particularly close eye on the progress of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who has been sidelined since injuring his lateral collateral ligament during the Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw against Borussia Dortmund in April and was initially considered a major doubt for the summer amid an expected lay-off of up to eight weeks. However, his rehabilitation has been swift and the midfielder has returned to training. He will be eager to face West Brom on Sunday (15 May) before playing some part during the Europa League final against Sevilla in Basel.
Wilshere must also count as a fitness concern given his lack of action this term, but more on that in a moment.
Who replaces Danny Welbeck?
Many might question if Welbeck was worthy of a place in the squad to begin with, but Hodgson is unquestionably a big fan of the Manchester United academy graduate and, if fit, his place would have been virtually guaranteed. Assuming Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy will be the four selected strikers, his injury could presumably leave an opening for another player capable of operating in a wide role.
Foremost on the list are likely to be Theo Walcott and Andros Townsend. The former has once again struggled to impress during a lacklustre campaign for Arsenal, failing to hold down a regular starting role and scoring just five times in the Premier League. His Newcastle counterpart, who has 10 caps after breaking into the squad during qualification for the 2014 World Cup, dropped out of international contention after being frozen out under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. However, a run of four goals in 12 appearances since joining the doomed Magpies on loan in January could spark Hodgson's interest once more.
Should Jack Wilshere be selected?
If you read the latest reports, then it appears that Wilshere's inclusion is not a dilemma for Hodgson. The Arsenal midfielder has endured another injury-wrecked season, sidelined for almost nine months after undergoing surgery to fix a fractured left fibula suffered in training. He made his return for the Gunners' U21 side last month and recent substitute appearances against Sunderland and Manchester City were his first at senior level for over a year.
Despite the obvious talent he possesses, can Wilshere's selection really be justified given that chronic lack of first-team football? Hodgson has been accused of having his favourites in the past and to bring back the 24-year-old ahead of arguably more deserving candidates like Leicester City title-winner Danny Drinkwater would only give more ammunition to his vocal critics who believe he neglects to base his selections on form.
What role should Wayne Rooney have?
The debate over whether or not Rooney should board the Eurostar is effectively pointless, because there is simply no way that an old-school, loyal manager like Hodgson will abandon his captain and the country's leading goal-scorer just weeks before a major tournament, regardless of how impressive England looked without him during their comeback victory in Germany.
A more worthwhile discussion is the specific role he should be afforded. Rooney has been utilised almost exclusively in midfield by Manchester United since returning from a knee injury in February, although to place him there at international level would require a great deal of tinkering. Harry Kane will surely be chosen if Hodgson decides to persevere with one central striker, while Sturridge and Vardy also deserve to be ahead of him in the pecking order. You could deploy him just off the front, although to do so would be significantly blunting the effectiveness of Tottenham's emerging sensation Dele Alli, who would be forced much deeper.
What England need to avoid, if at all possible, is letting any 'will he/won't he' Rooney saga become the focal point of their group stage campaign and instead allow younger players to quietly reap the benefits of his experience. There are many who believe the lack of a guaranteed starting role means he should not be picked at all, but it is so difficult to see Hodgson going down that route.
Any other business
Other minor questions to be decided include whether, in the absence of Jack Butland, Tom Heaton or Ben Foster should be chosen behind Joe Hart and Fraser Forster as third-choice goalkeeper. West Ham left-back Aaron Cresswell may also be hopeful of ousting either Ryan Bertrand or Danny Rose in the absence of Luke Shaw, but the rest of the squad seems fairly clear cut.
Unlike Sven-Goran Eriksson, who selected 16-year-old Walcott for the 2006 World Cup despite the fact he had yet to make a single first-team appearance for Arsenal, Hodgson is unlikely to throw in any last-minute curveballs. In the event that he is feeling particularly adventurous, then Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford could represent a perfect wildcard pick.