Ashes heroes Michael Vaughan and Ashley Giles face crucial meetings over the next few days to decide if they need further operations on long-standing injury problems.
England captain Vaughan will discover today, at a summit with medical experts from Yorkshire and England, if the latest setback in his recovery from a knee problem will result in surgery .
But England are also anxious about the prospects for Warwickshire left-arm spin-ner Giles, who is due to fly to the United States this week to seek further advice after being told he needs an operation on his hip problems.
Those meetings could have severe consequences for England's plans for this winter's Ashes series, where they are already expected to be without Simon Jones as he recovers from his latest knee operation.
"All of our injured players are world-class  Vaughan, Flintoff, Giles and Jones  and it's going to be a big concern if they don't come back and play this season," said coach Duncan Fletcher.
"I've adopted an attitude that, if they do come back, it will be a huge bonus. That's why we've got to go with these other young players to try to get them ready for later on in the winter."
Fletcher had hoped Vaughan, who was unable to field for two days of York-shire's Liverpool Victoria Championship defeat by Sussex at Arundel, would be able to return for this week's final two fixtures of the one-day NatWest Series against Sri Lanka.
But the stiffness he experienced this week has opened up the prospect of further surgery and Fletcher said: "It's a concern. We thought he was coming back and there was a period when we thought it wouldn't be long before he was back.
"But after this injury, they are going to have to re-assess it and we can make a decision from there."
Neither Vaughan nor Giles, who were ever-present in last summer's triumph over Australia, have featured for England since the series defeat in Pakistan before Christmas.
At least Fletcher has received some good news from key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who has been told to rest his injured ankle. He has made impressive progress and could be back for the opening Test against Pakistan at Lord's on July 13.
Kevin Pietersen, who became a limping passenger in the field with a painful left knee in Saturday's defeat to Sri Lanka at the Riverside, was sent for a scan yesterday, which confirmed there was no fracture, only heavy bruising. He can join up with the rest of the squad for Wednesday's fourth match of the NatWest Series at Old Trafford.