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Neither Klose nor Toni?

Concern over first-choice strike pair

Two days ahead of the home Bundesliga meeting with FC Köln, first-choice Bayern strike pair Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose are struggling for full fitness. “Miro and Luca are still both carrying minor injuries,” coach Jürgen Klinsmann told reporters after training on Thursday, “the problem areas haven’t cleared up yet.” However, Klinsmann also offered reassurance: “I’m very hopeful they’ll both be fit to start on Saturday.”

Toni continues to be troubled by an inflamed Achilles tendon, while Klose took a knock to the right ankle on Wednesday. “It’s still painful,” reported the Germany international, although he and his Italian strike partner both came through Thursday’s squad workout unscathed. Klose and Toni jointly top the scoring charts at the club this term with nine goals apiece.

Rensing not fully fit

Michael Rensing was also obliged to take the training session a little easier than normal with a minor injury to his elbow. However, the Bayern number one dismissed fears he might not be fit to face the Rhineland club: “It’s nothing serious and it won’t be a problem for Saturday,” he said.

With the exception of Toni and Klose, Klinsmann said he had “all the players at my disposal.” That includes Lukas Podolski, now restored to full fitness after a lengthy illness and injury lay-off, and a potential alternative in attack against his former and future club. “It’s a great situation for him. He’s under no pressure and can just go out and impress,” commented club captain Mark van Bommel.

Rotation in mind

On the eve of a decisive phase in Bayern’s drive for three trophies this season, Klinsmann announced his intention to “rotate the squad a little. We want to rest a player or two from time to time, and keep others at peak fitness,” the former Germany boss stated. FCB play seven games in the next 22 days, including a Champions League Round of 16 tie against Sporting Lisbon and a DFB Cup quarter-final away to Bayer Leverkusen.