Luke Shaw is still being monitored by England manager Roy Hodgson who hopes the Manchester United defender can recover from a double leg-break to take his place in the squad for the European Championships.
The 20-year-old left-back suffered a double fracture from a heavy challenge in a Champions League defeat at PSV Eindhoven in September and is still on the long road to recovery.
Shaw has been named in United’s Europa League squad in the hope he can play in the latter stages of the competition if the Red Devils advance, but his chances of going to the Euros appeared to be dashed when he was not included in an England squad get together at St George’s Park in February.
While other injured players such as Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck, who has since returned to fitness for Arsenal, were invited along, Shaw was not a part of the meeting.
But now Hodgson has given the former Southampton youngster the biggest hint yet that he could go to France if he can get fit in time.
“We are still monitoring Luke Shaw,” the England boss said at a Euro 2016 coaching workshop in Paris.
“He is making good progress, we are also monitoring Jack Wilshere, who is making very good progress. But we have to accept in March (friendlies against Germany and Holland) we won’t have those players, but hopefully in May, when I have to make a decision, they will be available for selection.”
Hodgson also has captain Wayne Rooney on the sidelines with a knee injury, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out with a similar problem.
While a lack of post-season fatigue could be seen as a positive for his injured players, Hodgson refused to claim not playing for their club sides would be of benefit to the national team.
“I am loathe to talk about injuries in terms of being an advantage,” he said.
“When a player gets injured, it’s a major disadvantage, not least of all to the guy who wants to play. I don’t know whether we could put a positive spin on it by it saying it will make them more fresh, I’m not certain that’s the case.”
Tough tests against Germany and Holland later in March will test England’s readiness to compete at the European Championships having won all 10 of their qualification games to get there.
Hodgson has not been able to play a friendly since the 2-0 win over France in November but he was pleased to be able to bring together a host of players for a day last month.
“I was delighted with it,” he said.
“First of all I was delighted to see the players again, delighted that everyone invited was able to turn up apart for two on the actual day who were taken for medical examinations otherwise they would have been there.
“That gave me enormous pleasure. I enjoyed meeting the players and having a chance to exchange a few words, and then in the actual content was basically around a review of the principles we have been working on in the two years since the World Cup in terms of our aims and philosophies and what we try to do with and without the ball.”