|Cabanas scoring in the Mexican league eight days before his shooting [EPA]
Paraguay striker Salvador Cabanas says he is "nearly ready" to play football again – despite having a bullet lodged in his skull.
The 29-year-old, who was set to travel to this summer's World Cup finals with his country after top-scoring with six goals in qualifying, was shot at point-blank range in a Mexican bar room argument on January 25.
But in a TV interview from a clinic in Mexico City the forward, who plays for local side America, said he would be back soon – although his doctors are more cautious.
"I'm almost ready," Cabanas said in an interview for Televisa, the company that owns his club.
Cabanas was sitting during the interview and barely moved, but the report showed footage of him playing table tennis.
"I will be back soon...I just need to recover....I miss the fans, the cheers that they always give me," he said.
"I'm working very hard on my recovery at the clinic. I'm very thankful because I'm already on my way out of this...I'm happy to be alive."
He was transferred two weeks ago from Mexico City's Angeles del Pedregal Hospital to a clinic for his rehabilitation.
Doctors have not ruled out that he may return to play, though they have repeatedly said it is too early to make predictions.
The shooting occurred around 5am in the bathroom of a bar in an upscale neighborhood in crime-plagued Mexico City. The main suspect remains at large.
The bullet which lodged in his head was not removed for fear of complications.
Paraguay will face defending champions Italy, Slovakia and New Zealand in the opening round of the World Cup in South Africa.