Lazio defender Emilson Cribari says he is close to a return after an amazing recovery from a compound cheekbone fracture.

"I don't want to jeopardise my recovery, but I may make it back against Bucharest," the ex-Empoli man revealed. Cribari suffered the injury in the first-leg of Lazio's Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Bucharest.

"When I first got struck I didn't realise how serious it was, but then I got up and I couldn't see or even keep my head up.

"But now the specialist has given me hope and the reconstruction work has gone really well. In a month I'll be as good as new."