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The Cameroon striker says a persistent knee problem means it is now unlikely he will be available for his side's crunch World Cup Group A clash with Croatia on Wednesday

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o believes that he needs a "miracle" to face Croatia on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old played in Cameroon's opening 1-0 World Cup Group A defeat to Mexico on Friday, but has failed to take any part in training since that game.

And after admitting a knee problem flared up as early as the ninth minute of that game, the former Barcelona striker is hoping for some divine intervention.

"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 team-mates to victory."

Eto'o may miss the rest of the group stage after revealing the injury had bothered him for a long time.

"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."

After their loss to Mexico, Cameroon head into Wednesday’s clash against Croatia seeking to keep their qualification hopes alive, before they take on tournament hosts Brazil in their final Group A match next Monday.

Cameroon coach Finke had already confirmed Eto'o failed to train over the weekend and his absence means one of Vincent Aboubakar or Fabrice Olinga are likely to be called upon in Manaus.

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