England manager Sarina Wiegman says it is “too early” to prepare for a World Cup without Euro 2022 top scorer Beth Mead.
The Arsenal forward will also be absent for this month’s Arnold Clark Cup tournament, which England won in 2022.
“It’s a little early to say. I don’t want to push it. She’s had so many things going on,” said Wiegman.
“We’ll see how her rehabilitation goes then we’ll look at the future. I don’t want her to look too far forward right now because of her situation.”
Mead’s mother June died after “a long and brave battle with ovarian cancer” in January shortly after the Euro winner won BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
“She had of course other private issues. I left the knee situation until now as I just wanted her to be OK and get settled with the situation and sadness she had around her,” added Wiegman.
“She told me she’s doing well. She really wants to make [the World Cup]. First, she needs to settle and we will see from there. For now, I won’t push that.”
However, captain Leah Williamson returns to Wiegman’s squad as they look to retain the Arnold Clark Cup later this month.
The Arsenal defender missed November’s fixtures with Japan and Norway due to injury but is included in the 26-player squad along with uncapped goalkeeper Emily Ramsey and Manchester City midfielder Laura Coombs, who last featured for England in 2015.
“Laura Coombs has done really well with Manchester City and shown so much consistency,” said Wiegman.
“She can also play a little higher and deeper and I think we need more of that to balance our midfield.
“I’m very happy [Williamson’s] back too. It’s good to have your captain back with the quality she brings.”
The Lionesses play South Korea in Milton Keynes on 16 February and Italy in Coventry on 19 February.
Their concluding fixture is against Belgium in Bristol on 22 February.
England finished ahead of Spain, Canada and Germany to win the round-robin competition in 2022.
Jess Park, who scored 79 seconds into her debut against Japan, is included in the squad after impressing on loan at Everton this season.
But there is no place among the forwards for Manchester United’s Nikita Parris, nor Bethany England following her January switch from Chelsea to Tottenham.
Midfielder Jordan Nobbs, who moved from Arsenal to Aston Villa last month, has also been left out along with Everton’s Gabby George and Manchester City’s Esme Morgan.
“Those players are competing for selection. We have conversations with them all the time. They have moved to clubs where they are playing a lot now,” said Wiegman.
“I think it’s good for competition but you can’t control what your competitors do. We can see now where they are at and how they’re improving. Then we look at what they do and make a choice.
“It’s good, they get minutes and it makes their position better, but it doesn’t guarantee they will be selected.”
The tournament comes as Wiegman’s side look to build on a historic 2022 – when they were crowned European champions – as they head to this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand which is being held between 20 July-20 August.
England, who will travel down under as one of the favourites, will continue their preparations with a match against Brazil at Wembley on 6 April in the inaugural Uefa Women’s Finalissima.
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Emily Ramsey, Ellie Roebuck.
Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy.
Midfielders: Laura Coombs, Fran Kirby, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zelem.
Forwards: Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Jessica Park, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson, Ebony Salmon.