But John had the good news - Sven Goran Eriksson wanted the defender to join up with his squad for the friendly against Denmark.
Anthony joined the squad on Thursday but as we all know now, missed out on what may well have been a first senior cap after a back problem surfaced late last Friday.
"It was a very proud moment," reflected Anthony. "I didn't expect a call and when I got one from John Alexander I thought it was going to be about a club issue.
"But he said he had good news, he had taken a call from the England secretary and Sven Goran Eriksson had called me into the squad."
So what happens from there when you get the call?
"I made my way up to the hotel in Manchester, met the lads, trained once a day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the game followed on Sunday.
"The lads were fine. It was quite a surprise - I actually knew a lot of the lads from club football or from England U21s, it was only the Manchester United boys I hadn't met before. That was nice and made it so much easier."
Anthony's back locked up on the Friday and after treatment on Saturday, felt it wouldn't be wise to risk injury - even though that first cap looked there for the taking.
"To be honest, the problem settled down straight away and even if the game was early this week I might have been able to be involved but on Sunday we thought it was best not to try and play."
England was the last thing on Anthony Gardner's mind when he took a call from club secretary John Alexander last week.