[BRAZIL 2014] Germany got good news on Wednesday when midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger andSami Khedira, both coming off injury-plagued seasons, trained with the team for the first time.
Schweinsteiger did not play in recent weeks for Bayern Munich, missing the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund. Khedira returned from a six-month layoff due to knee surgery to return for Real Madrid and start in its 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final. He said his goal all along has been to get ready for the World Cup.
"You have to let this win sink in a bit," he said of Real Madrid's 10th European title, "and I tried to enjoy it. But now I have a different aim for which I prepared for these last six months and now I am here."
Schweinsteiger and Khedira started for Germany at Euro 2012. Khedira moved from VfB Stuttgart to Real Madrid on the basis of his outstanding play for Germany at the 2010 World Cup.
Germany still has lingering injury concerns: starting goalie Manuel Neuer (shoulder) will not being training until Germany returns from its camp in the northern Italy, while captain Philipp Lahm and Marcel Schmelzer have been doing individual training.
STATE OF SHOCK.Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff said Julian Draxler and Benedikt Hoewedes sought the help of a sports psychologist after being in a state of shock following a car accident at a sponsor event on Tuesday afternoon.
Two men were hospitalized after being hit in the driving event staged by team sponsor Mercedes at Germany's pre-World Cup camp in Italy. Draxler and Hoewedes were passengers in the vehicles driven by a pair of professional race car drivers.
World Cup Warmups ...
MEXICO-ISRAEL.Mexico beat Israel, 3-0, at Azteca Stadium on Wednesday night in a match marred by a head injury to goalkeeper Jesus Corona, who was taken to hospital after he collided with teammate Francisco Rodriguez in the 69th minute.
Miguel Layun scored twice for El Tri and Marco Fabian added the third goal. The game was a farewell match for 41-year-old Cuauhtemoc Blanco making his 120th international appearance.
SOUTH KOREA-TUNISIA. South Korea's send-off match did not turn out well, so poorly in fact that Coach Hong Myung-Bo had to apologize afterward for the 1-0 loss to Tunisia in front of more than 50,000 fans in Seoul. Tunisia won thanks to a first-half goal by Zouheir Dhaouadi.
“We tried hard but the result is not as good as we expected,” the former LA Galaxy defender said. "We are sorry to our fans but I am sure today’s match will turn out to be a good lesson. Today’s focus was to check on our defense but it was not good. How we lost the goal to Tunisia was bad.”
To make matters worse, South Korea had Augsburg defender Hong Jeong-Ho was carried off with what was described as a bruised ankle.
South Korea will head to Florida on Friday to continue its World Cup preparations.
NIGERIA-SCOTLAND.Substitute Uche Nwofor's goal in the 90th minute earned Nigeria a 2-2 tie with Scotland at Craven Cottage in London. The Scots had twice led, the second time on an own goal by Azubuike Egwuekwe.
PRE-WORLD CUP, Schedule:
May 29 in Kufstein
Cameroon vs. Paraguay
May 29 in Washington, D.C.
Honduras vs. Turkey
Injury Updates ...
ETO'O OUT AGAIN.Cameroon is still without longtime star Samuel Eto'o, who will miss Thursday's friendly against Paraguay in Austria. The Chelsea striker is suffering from a knee injury, but the Indomitable Lions hope to have him available for Sunday's match against Germany in Moenchengladbach.
World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia (30) | *Mexico (23)
Group B:*Australia (27) | Chile (30) | Netherlands (30) | Spain (30)
Group C:Colombia (30)| *Greece (23)|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 (26) |Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | *Portugal (23) | *USA (23)
Group H:Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (23) | South Korea (23)