Created on 25-04-2008 at 00:00 AM
Mark van Bommel and Miroslav Klose share a car together from the suburb of Grünwald to the Säbener Strasse for daily training, but the seasoned pair have more in common than they would like at the present time. Van Bommel sustained a broken nose in last week's DFB Cup final in Berlin – and now the same fate has befallen Klose, although the striker has gone one "better" than his midfield team-mate.
During the UEFA Cup semi-final first leg against Zenit St. Petersburg, the Germany international also broke his nose, but far more seriously than the Dutch ace. "Miroslav Klose has a multiple fracture, he's broken his nose in three places," coach Ottmar Hitzfeld reported after Friday training.
Kahn and Lahm doubtful
Van Bommel personally took responsibility for deferring surgery until after the season, but that option is not open to Klose, although a date has not yet been set for his operation. However, Klose is definitely out of Sunday's Bundesliga encounter with VfB Stuttgart, and Hitzfeld described the 29 year-old goal-getter as "very doubtful" for next Thursday's return in St. Petersburg.
Ahead of the weekend meeting with the champions, Hitzfeld may also be without muscle strain victim Philipp Lahm, who the coach said would "very probably miss out“. Oliver Kahn is also doubtful with the trapped nerve which caused him to be substituted after 67 minutes of the European clash. "I couldn't move properly any more, and it was just too risky," the captain commented.
Everything in proportion
"I didn't know if it was a muscle injury or the nerve. If it was a muscle, it would have been my last match, so I'm delighted it's 'only' a nerve. I hope it sorts itself out quickly," Kahn continued before reporting for treatment on Friday.
In any case, Hitzfeld announced, team changes were on the cards for Sunday. "We have a big squad," the General pointed out, "I'll be fielding four or five fresh players. We have to keep things in proportion or we'll pay for it later," he observed, mindful of a heavy schedule still to come this term. "This is a chance for players to come off the bench and prove themselves," Hitzfeld concluded.