Brazilian midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso, who has just signed a $12 million deal with Sao Paulo, may not debut for his new team before 2013 because of injuries, team physiotherapist Luiz Rosan said Friday.
"Our aim is for Ganso to play this year, but I can't state categorically that this will happen," Rosan told Radio Globo.
Rosan said that the 22-year-old was suffering from a left thigh and right leg injury and it was difficult to put a time-frame on the recovery, even if "the aim is that he plays this season" as planned.
"I can see he's very motivated, with a big desire to get back playing," he added.
Ganso played just twice as a substitute during the London Olympics because of injury, as Brazil finished runners-up behind surprise winners Mexico.
But he nevertheless signed a five-year deal last week with Sao Paulo paying league rivals FC Santos a record-breaking sum for their club.
Sao Paulo had been hoping to get the maximum out Ganso this season with Brazilian international striker Lucas Moura moving to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a deal reported to be worth 35 million euros ($43.2m).