England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said he thought his World Cup was over when he sustained a knee injury during the tournament build-up.
The 20-year-old sprained the medial ligament in his right knee during the 2-2 friendly draw with Ecuador.
Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "We were so close to the World Cup. I thought my chance might be over."
The Arsenal player missed England's opener against Italy but he hopes to return against Uruguay on Thursday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored against 2014 Fifa World Cup hosts Brazil in a friendly in June 2013, was taken to hospital for scans after clashing with Ecuador's Carlos Gruezo during the match in Miami on 4 June.
"I panicked a bit and feared the worst," he said.
"I'd just come back from a long-term knee injury, and sometimes something that seems quite innocuous can set you back five months.
"I sat in the scanner with the fingers crossed on both my hands for the whole 25 minutes. At the end, I couldn't feel my fingers.
"After I came out our doctor saw the scan results and was pretty happy with them, considering what they had feared."
Oxlade-Chamberlain stepped up his rehabilitation on Friday, testing his knee in diagonal runs on the Arena Amazonia pitch with the aim on being available to face Uruguay in Sao Paulo in England's second Group D fixture.
He said: "We are hopeful that would be realistic, but there is nothing set in stone and I can't say whether I will definitely be back or not.
"We just know we are very positive about it. We are going to keep pushing and keep working towards it.
"Considering when the injury was, I'm really happy - as are the medical team - with how it's progressed."