Madrid: Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has said it would take a miracle for Barcelona captain Carles Puyol to make the squad for next month's European championships.
The defender, who played in Spain's Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010-winning sides, is expected to be out for up to six weeks after having surgery on an injured right knee.
Del Bosque has previously said that he was hopeful Puyol would make it to Poland and Ukraine but indicated to the Spanish newspaper Marca on Friday that his chances are fading.
"It would be a miraculous recovery," he was quoted as saying.
Fellow fitness doubt for the tournament David Villa, who is battling back to form after breaking his left tibia in December, could still make the squad, Del Bosque suggested.
But even if the Barca striker were ruled out, Spain still had options.
"Villa doesn't have to play competitive football before being able to go to the Euro," Del Bosque stressed.
"But what's good on the other hand is that he feels well. I've always said that if he feels right, he'll come," the coach added, saying he had "a good feeling" about the championships.