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Achilles’ heel

Toni rated doubtful for Köln clash

Superstar striker Luca Toni is a doubt for Bayern’s next Bundesliga fixture at home to FC Köln next Saturday. The Italian is suffering from Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the ankle tendon of the same name, and will be restricted to light exercise for the next few days. The problem was diagnosed after the player underwent an MRI scan on Sunday morning.

Toni was substituted after half an hour of Bayern’s 2-1 defeat in Berlin the previous day. “He’d spent the whole of the previous week hobbling around with an inflamed Achilles. We reduced his training load to compensate,“ coach Jürgen Klinsmann told on Sunday.

After pulling up following a sprint in Saturday’s match, Toni signalled his inability to continue to the FCB bench. “It was a real shame, because he was so determined going into the game,” commented Klinsmann, lamenting the loss of the striker’s physical presence in the Hertha box after his enforced departure: “It’s an important part of our game.“

Should last season’s leading scorer fail to recover in time for the meeting with mid-table Köln, there could be a first start at Bayern for Landon Donovan, the man who replaced the Italian in Berlin. Lukas Podolski, who missed practically the whole of Munich’s mid-season training programme with illness, could also be in line for selection against the club he left to join Bayern in 2006, and where he is to return this summer.