Dejan Lovren has picked up an untimely foot injury and faces a race against time to force his way into Croatia's squad for Euro 2012.
When fit and healthy, the defender would be virtually guaranteed to make the cut.
He is, however, facing up to a spell on the sidelines at just the wrong time, with European Championship plans being put in place.
Even if he were to shake off the knock, question marks will linger regarding his ability to last the full tournament.
His domestic employers Lyon have revealed that he will spend the next two weeks in plaster and is likely to sit out the remainder of their Ligue 1 campaign.
That means Lovren will need to earn his place on faith alone, and Lyon boss Remi Garde admits he may struggle to make the plane to Ukraine and Poland.
"It's quite an unusual injury so it is unclear how long it will take him to recover," he said.
"But it will be close (for the Euros)."