Italy striker Luca Toni is still hoping to be fit to face France in their Euro 2008 qualifier in Milan on Saturday.
Azzurri coach Roberto Donadoni admitted on Tuesday he was not expecting the Bayern Munich player to be ready in time, but Toni has not yet given up.
"I have still more time in order to try to recover," he said in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I hope that the pain in my thigh disappears and then it will be up to the coach. Italy against France is a game that everyone would want to play."
Toni picked up a hamstring injury while playing for Bayern in their 3-0 win over Hannover on August 25.
Donadoni faces the biggest test of his career, but insists his head’s not on the chopping block this weekend.
"Saturday’s opponents are certainly our toughest in Group B, but we are in better shape than in the past," he said. "I expect to see improvements in terms of fitness and performance compared to the friendly in Hungary."
August’s pre-season test did not boost morale, as the Azzurri looked sluggish in their 3-1 defeat in Budapest.
"I am the coach of the Nazionale and have the responsibility on my shoulders. If this means being under the microscope then I guess I am, but I don’t feel that way."
Source: C4 Football Italia / Sporting Life