AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy says he hopes to be back in action within the next three weeks, although that means he will miss the derby with Inter Milan this weekend.
El Shaarawy has missed the last three months due to injury but he hopes to return with the Rossoneri still in position to qualify for Europe next season.
That means victory in this weekend's derby is crucial and the Italy international told Milan Channel that he is remaining positive.
"I've seen the lads working hard in training -- they're really giving it everything, so fingers crossed," he said. "I hope to be back within three weeks and I'm optimistic about the final month of the season, and I hope we can get the points to qualify for Europe.
"My objective is to help the team do it. I'm sorry I've not been able to help my teammates, but I'm aiming to get back as soon as possible and I therefore hope I can give them a hand when I'm back.
"It's not been easy to be out for nearly three months and I'm delighted to be back running again. This is a special week for us, with the derby, and we've all got to try at all costs to win this game, both for the value of the match and for what it would mean in the league table."
Meanwhile, Inter midfielder Gary Medel has been rousing his teammates for the game which, like for Milan, may make or break their season. "To play in a derby, you need intelligence, heart and huevos [balls]," he said.
The Chilean at a news conference added: "I've played in a derby in Buenos Aires with Boca and that's one of the most passionate of them all, so I know what it means to play in a game like this,"
"We've got to be aggressive. Milan are strong and their season's not been normal, the same as ours. We respect them, but we're not afraid of anybody."