Yet in the absence of Barry, most probably Lampard, and with Scott Parker easing his way back after an Achilles problem, the talented, in-form Carrick would have been a useful addition to the squad. Henderson has potential but Carrick has won the Premier League four times and the Champions League once.
It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Henderson, who has been criticised for failing to deliver at Anfield since his £20million move from Sunderland. If Lampard is out, Henderson joins Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll among Liverpool’s so-called misfiring signings now helping to carry the nation’s hopes.
The sight of England players limping towards scan machines or out of tournaments is a wearyingly familiar summer image, highlighting the stresses placed on their bodies during the intense season.
This plight was memorably summed up by the Uefa president, Michel Platini, with his verdict that “English players are lions in the autumn and lambs in the spring”.
Medical research at Linkoping University in Sweden indicated that elite male players were four times more likely to suffer stress injuries in countries such as England that do not have a winter break than in those enlightened leagues which do.
If he follows Barry to the sidelines, Lampard will become another pre-tournament statistic for the FA’s medical men to analyse when the National Football Centre opens shortly at St George’s Park.
The debate may then intensify about the need for a winter break, something that right-minded people within the FA and a succession of England managers have long campaigned for.
The likely loss of Lampard is a substantial blow, to him personally, to the squad and also represents another unwelcome reminder to Hodgson of the vicissitudes of the Impossible Job.
Not only has Lampard been playing some of the best football of his career, including shining as Chelsea lifted the FA Cup and Champions League, but he is a popular figure around the England camp, one of the FA’s “good tourists”.
Even if the expectation was that Hodgson would start Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker, Lampard offered a high-class option from the bench.
Before his injury, Lampard spoke on Tuesday of his belief that he could challenge Parker for the defensive role allowing Gerrard to push on. “I’ve been playing deeper for Chelsea,’’ Lampard said. “I’ve enjoyed the workload and enjoyed making blocks and tracking back as much as trying to get up and score goals. With age and experience you have to change but whether I’ll become a big holding midfield player, I’m not so sure.”
If he is ruled out, it will be a particular frustration for Lampard as he had reported for England duty in confident mood after conquering Europe with Chelsea.
“However much we talked down the idea of winning it after all these years, you really do feel that it was the one, the special one, that wasn’t in our grasp,’’ Lampard reflected of the Champions League. “Now it is, so it does make a difference to how you feel. If you’re at a top club and you’ve played over a number of years, it’s one that you really want to have on your CV.”
Lampard noted that Roberto Di Matteo had an instant effect on Chelsea, something that Hodgson seeks with England. “It’s certainly possible to kindle something very quickly,” he said.
“Man-management is of the utmost at top football these days. When you’ve got a very good squad of players, training and tactics are important but the man-management issue at Chelsea was the huge thing. Robbie took players aside, talked to them and made them feel confident.’’ Lampard added that Hodgson “certainly” had time to shape the team for the Euros.
He also spoke highly of Chelsea’s central-defensive axis of John Terry and Gary Cahill, a partnership expected to start Saturday’s friendly at Wembley against Belgium and in the Euros.
“They are both top players,’’ Lampard continued. “They complemented each other straight away. Left and right seems pretty natural to them. They are determined. They both throw their bodies in the way to make the blocks.’’
The pair soon head off to the Euros. An innocuous incident appears to have prevented Lampard following them, a sudden and harsh end to a fine season for one of English football’s greatest servants.