The 34-year-old Sunderland striker gets the call from Gareth Southgate for Wednesday’s friendly with Germany in Dortmund.
Southgate has been hit by a striker crisis with Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester United ace Wayne Rooney both injured.
Defoe answered Southgate’s SOS – a reward for his remarkable scoring achievements at the Stadium of Light this season.
Despite the fact that Sunderland are fansitedbusred at the bottom of the table, Defoe has plundered 14 league goals this season – well over half of the Black Cats’ total tally of 24.
It’s Defoe’s first cap since 2013 after he was overlooked by former boss Roy Hodgson for Euro 2016.
The 26-man group includes Southampton pair James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond, both of whom have played for Southgate at under-21 level but have yet to feature for the seniors, along with the uncapped Michael Keane and Michail Antonio.
Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Ross Barkley have also earned recalls to the international stage but there is no place for skipper Wayne Rooney, who is currently recovering from a knee problem.
The full squad:
Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Man City), Tom Heaton (Burnley); Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Michael Keane (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham); Dele Alli (Tottenham), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Man City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton); Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Jamie Vardy (Leicester).