LONDON (AP) — Injury has denied Raheem Sterling the chance to take his fine Manchester City form away with England.
The 21-year-old winger has responded to a tough European Championship after which he called himself "the hated one" by flourishing under Pep Guardiola at City.
Sterling has scored five goals in 10 appearances for City this season, but an unspecified injury means he will miss interim manager Gareth Southgate's first matches in charge of England, against Malta and Slovenia.
Andros Townsend has been named Monday as Sterling's replacement for the World Cup qualifiers, with the Crystal Palace winger returning to the England squad for the first time since the pre-Euro 2016 friendlies.
The former Tottenham and Newcastle player will join the rest of the squad when they convene at their St. George's Park base in central England on Tuesday.
England hosts Malta at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 8, before playing away at Slovenia on Oct. 11.
Southgate is in temporary charge after Sam Allardyce's contract was terminated last week after just one game and 67 days in the position. A British newspaper investigation showed Allardyce appearing to offer advice to fictitious businessmen on how to sidestep an outlawed player transfer practice, and also negotiating a 400,000 pound ($519,000) public-speaking contract.
Southgate has been promoted from the under-21s setup until at least November when England also plays Scotland and Spain.
"I've exchanged messages with Sam. It was important to thank him," Southgate said. "I didn't want to be seen as someone who was waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
"After these seven weeks everyone can take a step back and think about what the future might be."