From Duro Ikhazuagbe in Curitiba
Cameroun captain Samuel Eto’o admitted yesterday that he needs a miracle if he is to shake off a right knee injury in time to play in Wednesday’s World Cup Group A match against Croatia.
The 33-year-old striker played in Indomitable Lions’s 1-0 Group A defeat to Mexico on Friday, but he was not present at 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 said yesterday. “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 Cameroun coach Volker Finke. After facing Croatia – beaten 3-1 by Brazil in their Group A opener – Cameroun will face the hosts on June 23.