Sunderland defender John Mensah is praying his ongoing injury worries do not rule him out of the African Cup of Nations.
The 27-year-old Ghana captain faces a race against time to be fit for his country's opening clash with Togo on 11th January after hobbling out of the Black Cats' Boxing Day draw with Everton.
Mensah, currently on a season-long loan at the Stadium of Light from Lyon, has been limited to just four Premier League starts for the club after being plagued by hamstring and calf injuries throughout the campaign.
Medics are concerned the centre-back's woes could stem from his back, meaning the Black Stars' skipper could be serious doubt for Ghana's aspirations in Angola next month.
Mensah, who is due to meet up with Ghana doctors on Monday, is hoping next week's injury verdict will come back positive and he can help his side clinch Africa's top prize.
He said: "I am happy to be with Sunderland, but I am very sad that I have not been able to play because of injuries.
"I don't understand why I have had so many injuries. I need the doctors to tell me why, and they are trying to find out what it is.
"I feel I can do well in the Premier League, and of course the African Nations Cup is a big goal for me and my country.
"The World Cup is also next year, so this should be exciting for me, but all I can worry about is why I keep suffering these injuries."
Mensah, who will miss the Black Cats' FA Cup third-round clash with non-league Barrow at the weekend, has been in regular touch with national coach Milovan Rajevac, but admits his injury could keep him out of the early part of Ghana's campaign.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "I could be out for three weeks now and I'm quite disturbed about the news.
"I am still talking to the Ghana coach to see how things will go for me. I will join the squad and hopefully play."