Midfielder Joe Allen says he hopes to fit for Wales’ opening World Cup game despite not playing since September because of a hamstring injury.
Wales face the United States in Qatar on Monday, 21 November.
Allen, 32, is a highly influential figure for Wales and is their biggest fitness concern as they prepare to play at their first World Cup since 1958.
“I’m hoping to be fit for the first game. There isn’t much time, but this is an important week for me,” he said.
“It’s improving, thankfully. I’m doing everything I can to get myself fit for the World Cup.
“I really want to prove my fitness. We’ll have to see how this week goes, but I feel confident and comfortable that it won’t be too much of a problem.”
Allen’s injury has been a source of major consternation for club and country.
Swansea City head coach Russell Martin said the club’s treatment of the injury “wasn’t good enough”, adding that it “could have been avoided”.
When Wales manager Robert Page named his 26-man squad for the World Cup he said: “It’s not ideal if I’m honest, but we’re giving him [Allen] every opportunity to get him fit to get into the starting XI for the first game.”
However, despite the initial complications in his recovery, Allen hopes he will be fit to face the United States having gone to great lengths to heal his hamstring.
“At the start, I was a bit unlucky in terms of knowing what exactly the problem was but, thankfully, we did discover how bad the injury was,” he told Newyddion S4C.
“Since then, we made a recovery plan and worked hard. I’m thankful I’ve had so much help from everyone at Swansea and Wales.
“I’ve been to Liverpool to seen a specialist and had a hyberbaric oxygen chamber in my house. I’ve thrown everything it.
“By now, things are going well and hopefully I’ll be ready for the start of the tournament.”