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The World Cup Countdown: German injury worries allayed
by Paul Kennedy, May 17th, 2014 6:36PM
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TAGS:  germany, world cup 2014


[BRAZIL 2014] Bastian Schweinsteiger, considered one of the keys to Germany's World Cup chances, says the knee injury that kept him out of Saturday's German Cup final won't keep him out of the World Cup. Nor should the shin injury German captain Phillip Lahm picked up in the match won by Bayern Munich, 2-0, in overtime over Borussia Dortmund.

Schweinsteiger said he will be fit despite missing Bayern Munich's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund after an inflamed left knee limited his training time. He'll report to the German training camp that begins Wednesday in northern Italy and will be followed by matches against Cameroon and Armenia. "I am on my way to full recovery," he told reporters. "It looks much better. For the World Cup there are no concerns."

Lahm went off after a half hour in Berlin, but Germany coach Joachim Loew reported afterward that he had spoken with Lahm, who told him the injury was not serious. "We assume he will be at 100 percent on Wednesday when we meet up," said Loew.

The status of Schweinsteiger and Lahm will be closely watched as Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, another of Germany's top defensive midfielders, is out of the World Cup, while Real Madrid's Sami Khedira is just coming back from a knee injury. Lahm was moved from outside back to defensive midfield this season at Bayern and has said he'd like to play there for Germany.

World Cup Warmups ...

NETHERLANDS-ECUADOR. Robin van Persie's sensational volley in the 37th minute was the only goal the Netherlands mustered, but saved the Oranje from an embarrassing defeat at home as it opened its final preparations for the World Cup with a 1-1 tie with fellow finalist Ecuador in Amsterdam.

World Cup: Friendly Schedule

Jefferson Montero had given Ecuador an eighth-minute lead against the Oranje, which was missing Arjen Robben (playing in the German Cup final) and Wesley Sneijder. Coach Louis Van Gaal started a backline with an average age of 21.5: the Feyenoord trio of Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi and Terence Kongolo, plus Ajax's Joel Veltman.

The game did not bring good news for Ecuador fans, though. Felipe Caicedo, who set up Montero's goal, had to be stretchered off, and his replacement, Armando Wila, also had to leave the game with thigh injury.

World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia (30) | Mexico (23)
Group B: Australia (30) | Chile (30) | Netherlands (30) | Spain (30)
Group C:
Colombia (30) | Greece (29) | Ivory Coast (28) | Japan (23)
Group D
: Costa Rica (26) | England (23) | Italy (30) | Uruguay (25)
Group E:
Ecuador (24) | France (23) | Honduras (23) | Switzerland (23)
Group F: Argentina (30) | Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | Portugal (30) | USA (30)
Group H: Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (23) | South Korea (23)

Strike Central ...

POLICE PRESSURE MOUNTS. The closer it gets to the start of the World Cup, and the more Brazilian workers are striking. Army troops had to be brought into Recife, site of the USA's match against Germany at Arena Pernambuco, after city police went on strike and shops and supermarkets were ransacked. The same thing had earlier happened in Salvador.

"They are obviously using the proximity of the World Cup to pressure us to give into their demands," government spokesperson Manoel Guimaraes for the state of Pernambuco said. The striking 20,000 police officers returned to work on Friday.

Bus drivers and conductors have conducted work stoppages in Rio de Janeiro, forcing commuters to find alternative ways to get to and from work. Others who have gone on strike included museum workers, architects, engineers and geologists.

1 comment
    commented on: May 18, 2014 at 1:59 p.m.
    no way i'm going to Brasil short of an in & out charter, which i still don't see on the web...........when are fi-fie-fa-fum going to realize it is insane to not pull russia's 2018 venue? stupid when Qattr is aguably the safest venue since '06........

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