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Who'll stand in for Toni?

Kroos starts sports rehab, Shaq set to deputise

On Friday, two days after rupturing the adductor muscles in his right hip, Toni Kroos returned to the Säbener Strasse training facility. The Germany international, who is unlikely to play again this season, reported to the team physios and has already moved on from the injury sustained against Juventus, revealed Jupp Heynckes: “I had a long chat with Toni yesterday, and he was already relatively composed."

“Losing the man who pulls the strings for us is a heavy blow," continued Heynckes, “he's made a huge leap forward this season." Kroos’ outstanding contribution this term has included prompting and pushing in attack, a dangerous presence around the penalty area, and also a rise up the dressing room hierarchy. However, the FCB coach is not overly concerned, due to the depth in the senior squad: “I think we can compensate for the loss. We have lots of options."