Teresopolis: Brazil forward Hulk said on Sunday he was hopeful of being fit for Tuesday's World Cup Group A match against Mexico after pulling out of training with a leg muscle problem.
Brazilian striker Hulk. Pic/AFP
The 27-year-old Zenit St Petersburg player immediately left the field on Sunday after scoring in a training game between the likely starting line-up for the match against Mexico and the substitutes.
Hulk, whose place was taken by Chelsea midfielder Ramires, appeared to be suffering from a hamstring problem but he later spoke to media in Teresopolis to say that he had come off "as a precaution" and would travel with the rest of the Brazil squad for the upcoming game at the Castelao Stadium in northern city Fortaleza.
"I felt a pain in my left hamstring. It has been there for a few days but it did not stop me from playing in the first game (against Croatia) and God willing it will not stop me from playing in the next match," Hulk said at Brazil's Granja Comary training camp, although he admitted that coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will make the final decision.
"I will travel to Fortaleza. We are treating the problem but 'Felipao' will decide."
Hulk has extra motivation to feature in the game, as he comes from the city of Campina Grande in the impoverished north-eastern state of Paraiba, a relatively short distance away from Fortaleza, in the state of Ceara.
"I hope to be 100 percent ready in two days time," he added as Brazil prepare to meet El Tri in the same venue where the sides clashed in last year's Confederations Cup, when the hosts won 2-0.
"There is no way I want to miss this game, because it will be in the north-east and all my family will be there. When Brazil play up there it is always a party. Everything started there in the Confederations Cup when the whole stadium sang the national anthem together.
"I want to thank the fans in Sao Paulo, who really helped us in the opening game (against Croatia). I am sure the same thing will happen this time."
Depending on the state of Hulk, the indications are that Scolari will look to field the same team against Mexico as that which beat Croatia 3-1 at the Corinthians Arena on Thursday.
The Brazil squad were due to fly north later on Sunday before training at the Castelao on Monday afternoon.