England boss Roy Hodgson has hailed John Terry's warrior-like qualities, even though the Chelsea captain is now a doubt for Tuesday evening's (Wednesday morning AEST) Wembley meeting with Ukraine.
Hodgson revealed he offered Terry the chance to exit England's 5-0 win over Moldova 20 minutes from time after he suffered an ankle injury.
With all England's substitutes used, the 31-year-old typically declined.
In the end, he was forced off anyway, meaning he is now a major doubt for England's second stop on its road to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
"I'd liked to have taken him off, and we did suggest we'd play with 10," said Hodgson.
"He's a warrior though, so he poo-pooed the suggestion he should come off with 20 minutes to go.
"He took a kick on the ankle in the first half and then twisted it slightly when he landed in front of the bench in the second half.
"They're assessing him at the moment.
"It's obviously not a very serious injury, but every knock is important with only three days between games."
At least England has a ready-made replacement in Terry's Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill, who only made the bench as Joleon Lescott was preferred.
Indeed, Hodgson was able to deliver some good news, dismissing the half-time departure of skipper Steven Gerrard as 'a precaution' before revealing Ashley Cole, who missed the game with an ankle injury, trained on Friday and could rejoin the England squad when it meets in Watford on Sunday afternoon.
Terry apart, it was a good evening for Hodgson.
England's biggest away win since its 7-1 defeat of San Marino in 1993 was launched by two goals from Frank Lampard, who has now scored 25 times for his country, one more than Sir Geoff Hurst.
Not bad for a player who, at 34, might have feared his international days were over when he missed EURO 2012 with a groin injury.
"Frank was excellent," said Hodgson.
"Quality is permanent, and that's proved itself time and time again.
"He might not always play to the top of his game, because football is football, but you're better off going into games having that quality on the field."
Jermain Defoe increased England's lead before the break.
Then, after taking some time to get going in the second half, James Milner and Leighton Baines found the net to complete a comfortable victory against a poor Moldova outfit, which looked every bit its status of 141st in the FIFA rankings.
"I am very pleased," said Hodgson.
"It's the first match in a qualifying group for a World Cup, which is always a nervous occasion.
"You're always concerned you'll not produce the performance you want, or the result, but we got off to the best possible start and controlled the game throughout.
"I don't think the scoreline flattered us.
"Sometimes 5-0 victories do, but not today.
"Now we have a couple of days to prepare for the next one.
"Tuesday is against one of the teams who could be one of the favourites to win the group.
"I hope the recovery time is sufficient and the players can muster their strength again to give another good performance."
Victory gave England an early advantage in its group after Montenegro's 2-2 draw with Poland.
However, Moldova coach Ion Caras feels his side made it disappointingly comfortable.
"I am disappointed with that," he said.
"We hoped to do a lot better but it ended up being very easy for England."