Spain striker David Villa says he is "getting more optimistic" that he will have fully recovered from his broken leg in time to feature for La Roja in this summer's European Championship.
Villa, 30, sustained a fractured shinbone during Barcelona's Club World Cup semi-final victory against Al-Sadd in December and the initial prognosis suggested it would be touch-and-go whether he would be back to compete at Euro 2012.
However, the former Valencia forward - Spain's all-time leading scorer with 51 goals - insists his rehabilitation is going better than expected and he believes he can return before the end of the season and win a place in Vicente del Bosque's squad for the finals.
"I went to the clinic last Friday to have two screws withdrawn from my leg," Villa was quoted as saying by EFE. "Everything went perfectly and I went home without any noteworthy problems. This is another important step in my recovery.
"When I got injured, I said that it was my goal to make Euro 2012 and help Barcelona at the end of the season. And I am getting more optimistic about it every day as it's going very well."
Villa was Spain's top scorer in Euro 2012 qualifying, netting seven goals as the reigning European and world champions won eight out of eight games to make it to Poland and Ukraine.