Germany central defender Per
Mertesacker is fit for their Euro 2012 Group B opener against
Portugal on Saturday after a brief injury scare, assistant coach
Hansi Flick said on Friday.
Mertesacker, who had been out since February after ankle
surgery and returned to action only a few weeks ago, collided
with Jerome Boateng in training on Thursday.
"There was a bit a of a doubt about him yesterday after he
collided with Jerome Boateng during a corner. He was lying on
the ground but it turned out to be less dramatic," Flick told
reporters just before the team's flight to Lviv, Ukraine.
"We now have all players fit and ready to play in our match
tomorrow," he added.
Mertesacker is likely to feature in a central defensive
partnership with Holger Badstuber, while captain Philipp Lahm
has been switched from right-back to left-back.
It is not yet clear who will play in Lahm's usual position
with Boateng and Lars Bender battling for that starting spot.
"The final decision on that will be taken after this
evening's final training in Lviv," said Flick.
He said coach Joachim Low won't announce the starting team
to the players until a few hours before the game to keep them on
"We have our line-up in our heads. There is some uncertainty [among the players] whether they will play or not. That is good
because it keeps the concentration high right until the end."
Among those waiting to find out if they will start are
forwards Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez, with the former looking
to have the edge despite the Bayern Munich forward's prolific
season as second-top scorer in the Bundesliga with 26 goals.
"Both are top quality strikers and each has their own
personal strengths," said Flick. "The last two years Mario has
had an impressive goal quota."
"It is a tight race and Miro has not had a lot of matches [due to a five-week injury break] but he has shown us here that
he is ready," Flick said.
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