Cameroon skipper Samuel Eto'o admitted Monday that he needs a miracle if he is to shake off a right knee injury in time to play in Wednesday's crucial World Cup clash against Croatia.
The 33-year-old striker had a quiet game in Cameroon's 1-0 Group A defeat to Mexico on 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. You could see that even in the build-up to the World Cup I hadn't had a lot of practice until the friendly against Germany."
He added: "During the first match of the World Cup against Mexico, 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.
"He didn't train on Saturday or Sunday," said Cameroon coach Volker Finke.
After facing Croatia - beaten 3-1 by Brazil in their Group A opener -Cameroon will face the hosts on June 23.