YAOUNDE, Cameroon - Cameroon skipper Samuel Eto'o admitted on Monday he requires a miracle if he is to shake off a right knee injury in time to play in Thursday's crucial World Cup clash against Croatia.
The 33-year-old striker had a quiet game in Cameroon's 0-1 Group A defeat against Mexico last Friday and was not even present at team training at Vitoria, near Belo Horizonte, on Sunday.
"I am hoping the gods grant me a miracle and that I am able to defend my dear, beautiful country," Eto'o told Cameroon Radio-Television (CRTV).
"If this is not the case, I will always play my role as captain and especially as the big brother to push my young teammates to victory.
"For three and a half months, I have not had the time to recover. I hadn't had a lot of practice until the friendly against Germany.
"During the first match of the World Cup, I tried but after consulting the medical staff we realised that I needed a rest. Even in the ninth minute, I felt pain."
Eto'o suffered a right knee injury at the end of his club season with Chelsea.
Eto'o took to Twitter later on Monday to reveal that Cameroon's medical staff had confirmed his earlier fears.
"The doctors have confirmed it! I probably won't play," he said.