Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas hopes his worst fears will not be confirmed later today as Arsenal assess the extent of his latest injury - which could end both the Spaniard's season and World Cup hopes.
The Gunners skipper had been a doubt for last night's Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Barcelona, which ended in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium, after suffering severe bruising to his knee and leg at Birmingham.
However, after coming through a fitness test in the warm-up, Fabregas returned to lead the side against his boyhood club - and played a pivotal role in their comeback after falling 2-0 down to a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic which looked to have all but killed off the tie.
During the closing stages, after substitute Theo Walcott had pulled a goal back, the Gunners skipper - who would have missed the second leg against his old club anyway after being booked in the first half - was bundled over by Carles Puyol and awarded a penalty.
It was during that collision with the Barcelona captain, who was shown a red card by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, that Fabregas suffered the latest problem which the Spain international believes could even end his season - and perhaps threaten participation in South Africa this summer.
"I am not good," said Fabregas, who left Emirates Stadium on crutches.
"We have to wait (for the scans), but I hope I can wear the Arsenal shirt again this season.
"I fear the worst, which is that I have broken something.
"I do not think it is going to be good news, but still I hope there will be."
Fabregas revealed: "When I took the penalty, I was quite strong, but after when I went to get the ball, I could not walk any more.
"It is the fibula. I think I put my leg between Puyol's when I was fouled, and kicked it."
Fabregas maintained it had not been a gamble to pick him.
"Until the penalty, I was feeling quite good," the Arsenal captain said.
"It has been an amazing experience and I will remember it for the rest of my life."
Arsenal also lost defender William Gallas to a reoccurrence of his calf problem in what was a first appearance since early February, and manager Arsene Wenger believes the veteran centre-back, who is out of contract in the summer, could now struggle to recover this season.
Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin, meanwhile, is a doubt for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Wolves after limping off midway through the first half with a calf injury.Reuse content