Luis Suarez says he never allowed himself to contemplate that an untimely knee injury could wreck his World Cup dream.
The Liverpool striker has surgery in an effort to ensure that he will be fit and firing when Uruguay go in pursuit of global glory.
A minor operation is considered to have been a success, with Suarez in the process of gradually stepping up his return to full training.
He will not be rushed, with Uruguay pinning their hopes on the involvement of the Premier League’s 31-goal top marksman, but Suarez is confident that he will be ready to play a prominent role in Brazil.
Suarez told The Guardian: “Emotionally, I’ve felt fine; psychologically, I’ve been spectacular.
“At no time did I feel pressured, at no time have I felt sad because at no point did I think there was a chance of me missing the World Cup.
“The thought never went through my mind. I could have really cried because of this injury but I didn’t because I knew. I knew.
“When the doctor first spoke to me three little tears fell, but no more. My wife said: ‘I can’t believe how strong you’re being’ but I knew I’d make it.”
The question now is, when will Suarez be ready for competitive action?
Uruguay get their World Cup campaign up and running against Costa Rica on Saturday, before tackling England four days later in a contest which would pitch Suarez into battle against a number of his Anfield colleagues.
Pressed on when he expects to return, the 27-year-old said: “What you don’t know is how the knee will react.
“Today I could say to you: ‘Yeah, I’ll make it to the first game’. Or: ‘No, I prefer to wait for the second or the third’.
“But you only know for sure as you progress and you see how the knee reacts. You can reach the 20th day and think: ‘I’m flying here’ but then that day your knee swells up and everything slows down.
“For as long as the knee resists and there’s no pain, so long as the quadriceps strengthen, you’re okay.”
He added: “When I go on to the pitch, I want to go out there ready.
“We know what the expectations are like and what the media is like. They’d say: ‘Today he’s jogging but he doesn’t look quite right’. Then it’ll be: ‘Today he was running normally’. And that can load pressure on and also create a false impression.”