Cameroon skipper Samuel Eto’O is not expected to play in Wednesday’s World Cup game against Croatia due to injury.
The striker, who has missed two days of training with an injured knee, has been asked to sit out of the ‘Indomitable Lions’s’ sessions for the next ten days, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Cameroon Football Federation (CFF), Laurence Fotso, confirms.
The same injury forced the Chelsea striker out of the Uefa Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid at the end of last season.
Coach Volker Finke disclosed to newsmen on Sunday that Eto’O will not be fit for the West African nations’ penultimate group stages game.
“He has a problem with the right knee that he had already had at the end of the season with his club Chelsea,” Finke said at a press conference.
“He did not train yesterday (Saturday) not today (Sunday).”
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan marksman has now hinted it takes him something out of the ordinary to play in the game against Croatia, while resounding his confidence in his team-mates to guide the four-time African champions into the knock-out stage of the tournament.
“I am hoping the gods grant me a miracle and that I am able to defend my dear, beautiful country,” the 33-year-old 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.”
Cameroon lost 1-0 to Mexico in their opening Group A game on Friday.
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 faces a race against time to be fit for his country’s final group game against hosts Brazil next Monday.