Alonso was ruled out of the Bahrain GP last Thursday after tests conducted at the circuit medical centre showed up a fractured rib in the wake of his crash in Australia.
[STORY: Alonso out of Bahrain Grand Prix]
With concerns over inflicting further damage should he be involved in another accident, Alonso made way for reserve Stoffel Vandoorne to make his debut.
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It is hoped the additional time off the track will be sufficient for a full recovery, but ultimately Alonso's fate lies in the hands of the Shanghai track doctor who will make a judgement next Thursday.
When asked about Alonso's chances of being ready, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said: "I think he's confident.
"But he's going to go through the scans. The FIA will inspect them and decide yes or no."
Pirelli has cited Alonso as McLaren's second driver for its Chinese GP tyre selections.
Alonso spent the remainder of the weekend helping the team and Vandoorne, who went on to qualify ahead of team-mate Jenson Button and finished 10th in the race.
Boullier can appreciate Alonso was probably frustrated, but added: "It was a good experience as well.
"He passed on some very nice comments on the radio. They were very constructive."
Boullier also feels Alonso's service over the weekend, rather than flying home, underlined his commitment to McLaren - which has sometimes been questioned.
"I never had any doubt about it. It's just you guys [the media]," said Boullier.
Boullier, meanwhile, has confirmed it is investigating Button's power unit that failed early in the race at Bahrain, with the possibility new parts may be needed going into the event in China.
While McLaren has clearly made progress this season, Vandoorne's point is the only one to the team's name from the opening two races.

McLaren Honda's Team Chief Eric Boullier looks into the garage during the first practice session of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 18, 2016

Image credit: AFP

Despite that, Boullier can see the positives.
"Our car performance, car balance are good, and the drivers were happy with the car," he added.
"When both the chassis and PU converge to something a little better then we'll be there.
"The fact we are fighting for points, already that's an improvement, and we know where we can gain.
"We know we don't have the most powerful PU, which is one of the reasons why we know we can make some gains from where we are today."
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