Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press
Argentina's medical team have been working round the clock of late to try to ensure key man Angel Di Maria can play against Germany on Sunday.
The Real Madrid winger suffered a thigh injury while attempting a shot on goal during his country's 1-0 win over Belgium in the last eight, ruling him out of Argentina's semi-final win over Netherlands.
However, the 26-year-old has since returned to training at Argentina's Belo Horizonte base, though it was only a light workout away from the rest of the squad. Per John Drayton of the Daily Mail, team doctors hope the use of both platelet-rich plasma and an oxygen chamber may speed up the player's recovery in time to at least take some part from the substitutes' bench in this weekend's showdown in Rio de Janeiro.
And so there will be huge interest when the team sheets are announced Sunday to see if all the skilful wide man's hard work has paid off. Di Maria's pace on the flanks is seen by many as one of Argentina's best ways to hurt their opponents, especially given Germany's tendency to defend with a high line.
His presence would clearly enhance Argentina's chances and give Di Maria the opportunity to win the aforementioned historic double rather than Real team-mate Khedira.
Equally, however, as we saw with Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa in May's UEFA Champions League final, it is always a huge risk to go into showpiece occasions such as these relying on half-fit players.