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Slipped disc

Podolski ordered off training for a week

The new year has been unkind to Germany striker Lukas Podolski so far. Forced to sit out half the mid-season training period with a stubborn dose of the flu, the 22-year-old has now been sidelined for another week with what Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld described as a “non-serious slipped disc”.

“Lukas will start rehab training immediately, and then we’ll take each day as it comes,“ the coach commented. The goal-getter missed Tuesday evening’s German Cup victory over Wuppertaler SV and will play no part in Friday’s Bundesliga restart fixture away to Rostock. Podolski is also out of Germany’s friendly encounter with Austria in Vienna next Wednesday.

Doubtful for Bremen

Provided his recovery goes according to plan, Podolski should be able to resume the squad programme in the course of next week, Hitzfeld announced, although the player remains a doubt for the Bundesliga showdown at home to Werder Bremen on 10 February.

After finally ridding himself of the flu in mid-January, Podolski resumed duty at the club’s winter training camp in Marbella, but returned from Spain complaining of back pain. It is the latest in a series of setbacks this season for the Germany star, whose recovery from knee surgery last summer took longer than expected and restricted him to a handful of league and UEFA Cup appearances.