You just couldn't make it up, could you?
The news that Ashley Cole could miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle means that Wayne Bridge is set to be called into action alongside John Terry for England when they play Egypt next month.
It means that Fabio Capello will have to deal with the nightmare scenario he was so keen to avoid, courtesy of a twist that would have been seen as wearily predictable had it cropped up in a soap opera storyline.
'BBC 1, 7:45 - Englanders: Sworn enemies Wayne and John are forced to work together after Ashley goes to hospital. Meanwhile, Rio's newly-acquired power goes to his head and he upsets his friends with one 'merk' too many.'
As if Capello doesn't already have enough on his plate. His two top goalkeepers are both in sides fighting relegation, he only has one in-form striker and Theo Walcott, the player he once described as "our best talent", looks nowhere near being a World Cup player at the moment.
The back pages are typically giddy at the prospect of the forthcoming snaps of the pair together on the Wembley turf, summed up by the Daily Star headline: "Kiss and make up - Bridge 'n Terry peace hope as Cole is crocked".
Leaving to one side the clunky shortening of the word 'and' (would Star readers be confused by an ampersand?) and the talk of 'peace hope' as though the story is about Gaza, is this a blessing in disguise? Will Bridge return at all?
If Capello is to take Bridge with him to South Africa, then it is better that the pair play together as early as possible. Once they have stood next to each other for 90 minutes in full view of the world's media, it will give this whole sordid business some form of narrative closure.
From then on, pictures of the former best friends side-by-side wearing the Three Lions will lose their novelty and their value, and the media can turn their collective eye to the mobile phone pictures of Cole sent to a topless model that occupy one front page this morning.
Besides, Bridge is yet to give confirmation about his England future, one way or the other, and his form for Manchester City this season means he is not guaranteed a call-up anyway. Capello has regularly picked Joleon Lescott in his squads for his versatility rather than his overall quality, while Gareth Barry is no stranger to playing at left-back. Even Leighton Baines could be in with a shout of a late call-up. There, ED said it. Leighton Baines.
Even if Cole does recover earlier than expected, Capello's policy of only picking squad members who are playing regularly may yet count against him.
There must have enthusiastic high fives between Landon Donovan and Tim Howard after the former put the early reducer on Cole a full four months before England are due to play USA in Rustenburg. There's getting in early and letting the oppo know you're there, but that was ridiculous.
Cole's World Cup future may hang in the balance, but there is a crumb of comfort to be salvaged for him. After spending so long as an almost universal hate figure, despite being one of England's best players, he can now sit back and watch all those who have relentlessly slagged him off in the past now rue his absence.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "He (Eriksson) has agreed to stay on as joint life president which is a less hands-on role but it gives people an idea of how honourable Sven has been to deal with." - New Notts County chief executive Jim Rodwell praises Sven's commitment for hanging around at Meadow Lane on an even cushier number than he was on before after the club is taken over.
FOREIGN VIEW: Internazionale coach Jose Mourinho has been fined 18,000 euros for his outburst after last month's Milan derby. Mourinho was charged with casting doubts about the regularity of Serie A for saying "everything was done for us not to win" after his side beat AC Milan 2-0 despite having two players sent off.
COMING UP: Several matches are taking place this evening: follow live scoring of Burton v Crewe and Northampton v Aldershot in League Two, Milan v Udinese in Serie A and Borussia Moenchengladbach v Nurnberg in the Bundesliga. If you fancy, you can have a flutter on Eurosport Bet.