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Ballack fitness still in doubt for opening match

Written by: Staff

BERLIN, June 6 (Reuters) Germany are not yet certain that captain Michael Ballack will be fit to play in the opening match of the World Cup on Friday, although the player himself is confident of lining up against Costa Rica.

''We hope that after a little rest and the work of the medical department he will be fit,'' assistant coach Joachim Loew said today, three days before the Group A match in Munich.

''It's just a little calf muscle problem but it is a nagging injury,'' added Loew.

Ballack missed training yesterday but took part in an indoor workout this morning and said he expected to back working with the ball in the evening.

''I think it will continue improving day by day and I assume I will be able to play on Friday,'' he said.


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