Sunderland attacker Wahbi Khazri is in a race to be fit for Tunisia’s campaign at the 2018 World Cup as he battles to recover from a thigh injury.
The Black Cats playmaker, who spent last season on loan at French club Stade Rennes, sat out his national team’s penultimate World Cup warm up game against Turkey in Geneva on Friday night.
It’s the second successive match Khazri has has missed for the Carthage Eagles, with his thigh strain ruling him out of a 2-2 draw with Portugal in Braga on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old has been training apart from the rest of the squad at their base in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to Tunisia team officials. He has not played since the end of April, missing Rennes' last three games of the Ligue 1 season.
Sunderland, who were relegated from the EFL Championship to League One at the end of the 2017/18 season, will hope Khazri recovers in time to feature for Tunisia.
The English club need the player to be in the shop window of the World Cup as they look to offload him and reduce their wage costs for next season.
Tunisia play their final World Cup warm-up match against Spain in Krasnodar next weekend, before gearing up for their group stage matches against England, Belgium and Panama on June 18, 23 and 28 respectively.