Harry Maguire is facing a race to be fit for England’s opening game in the Euros on June 13.
And there are growing fears within the England set-up that he is struggling to prove his fitness to be ready for the tournament.
Manchester United defender Maguire is a huge figure in Gareth Southgate’s plans and will be determined to do everything to be ready to face Croatia in England’s first Group match.
But Maguire had been confident of overcoming the ankle ligament injury in time to play in the Europa League final and the fact is that he was nowhere near making it.
It has taken much longer than first hoped after suffering the injury at Aston Villa on May 9.
And the worry is that he will still also need match fitness after a lay-off.
The England squad meet up this weekend at St George’s Park; the United players will be given a few extra days but Southgate has already admitted he has been kept in the dark over Maguire’s ankle injury.
Now they will make checks on his progress and hope that he makes it.
But there are worries, which is another factor in why Southgate named 12 defenders in his provisional squad.
Maguire is the absolute kingpin in England’s defence, United have also missed his presence and Southgate will give him every chance to be fit because he knows how important he will be this summer.
Ben Godfrey and Ben White were named in the squad to help with training numbers and they were under no illusions that it would be unlikely they will make the final cut when it is named on June 1.
But Maguire is now sweating on his place and the same is also the case for his United team mate Marcus Rashford who is nursing shoulder and foot injuries.
Southgate is resigned to having to nurse Rashford through the Euros because he has played so many games this season and does look jaded.