Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic hopes to be available for his side's Champions League clash against Sevilla, having also has suggested he could come out of international retirement to play for Sweden at the 2018 World Cup.
The 36-year-old striker missed seven months of action between April and November last year after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in a Europa League tie against Anderlecht. He is currently on the sidelines once again with a complication that has left the player "not totally happy with his condition," according to manager Jose Mourinho.
Ibrahimovic has not featured since Boxing Day but believes he is now edging closer to return, naming the second leg of the last 16 clash against Sevilla on 13 March as a likely return date.
"Knee feels good," the veteran striker told Swedish publication Expressen. "I have been training with the team for 10 days, that feels good. When you have been away from the game for so long you have to train, it is about getting the moves.
"I am training with the team, then what status I am in when the Sevilla match comes, we will see. I am available and optimistic."
Ibrahimovic's former international teammates are heading to Russia this summer after securing a memorable playoff victory over four-time world champions Italy last November. Talk of the former captain returning to international duty having retired following Euro 2016 inevitably sprung up after that win, with his famous "We are Zweden" tweet post-match helping fuel that speculation.
The former Ajax starlet made five brief appearances in the Premier League during his aborted comeback in November and December but believes that if he can rediscover full fitness, he can have a role to play in Russia this summer.
"I miss the national team," Ibrahimovic told reporters during a visit to Stockholm on Thursday, ESPN report. "When you have played for 20 years and you get to see the others playing in the national team it is hard. But it is hard in general when you are injured because you want to play, both for your club and your national team.
"It has been my life for 20 years and suddenly I am in a positon where I am not playing every three days. But I just have to accept the situation and fight. I can't do anything else, but train and fight and set my targets."
Ibrahimovic insists however he would only take the challenge if he feels he can truly contribute something. Asked what he would tell Sweden boss Janne Andersson if he received the call, he added: "We will see, it is a tough question. I want to feel that I can perform and give something back. I don't want to come to Russia just because of who I am.
"The door isn't closed for anything. But first I have to play, we can't start focusing on the national team when I am not playing. But I feel alive when all the talk is buzzing, so that is good."
Ibrahimovic retired from international duty after Euro 2016 having carved his name in Swedish football history by becoming their greatest ever goal scorer with 62 goals in 116 games.