The 35-year-old has withdrawn from Herbert's squad due to ankle and knee problems, and will not be making the 11,000 mile round-trip to Shanghai.
Nelsen is a key part of Mark Hughes's plans this season and has started nine of the 11 Premier League matches so far, so both the club and the player are unwilling to risk aggravating any minor concerns.
New Zealand currently sit atop their World Cup qualification group with a maximum 12 points from 4 games played. Their remaining two fixtures are at home to second-placed New Caledonia on March 22, followed by a trip to the Solomon Islands on March 26.
|ALL WHITE WITHOUT NELSEN|
|16/5||New Zealand are 16/5 with bet365 to beat China|