Daniele De Rossi admits he is 'not optimistic' regarding his chances of lining up for Italy in their Euro 2012 semi-final showdown with Germany.
The Roma midfielder picked up an untimely knock during the Azzurri's quarter-final clash with England on Sunday.
He was forced from the field 80 minutes into that game with a sciatic nerve problem.
Italian medical staff were due to carry out tests on Monday in an effort to determine the severity of the injury.
It remains unclear whether De Rossi will be ready for a last-four encounter with Germany on Thursday.
The combative 28-year-old is refusing to give up hope regarding his possible participation, but concedes that he faces a race against time to prove his fitness.
"I hope to recover in time for the semi-final," said De Rossi.
"The sciatic nerve is causing me pain and right now I am not optimistic."