Ballack on for Poland game

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

It was time for tennis and basketball and lounging in the sun that must have reminded Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann of his California home.

Ballack on for Poland game

Berlin:

It was time for tennis and basketball and lounging in the sun that must have reminded Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann of his California home.Klinsmann had another reason to be in a good mood on Sunday - captain Michael Ballack is recovering well from the muscle injury in his right calf and is all but confirmed for Wednesday's match against Poland in Dortmund."The healing process is going great, we are watching him very closely," Klinsmann said. "The doctors are very pleased and we assume he'll play against Poland."Ballack missed Friday's 4-2 win over Costa Rica because Klinsmann did not want to take the risk of aggravating the captain's injury and resisted Ballack's pleas to play in the opening match of the World Cup.While the rest of the players relaxed by playing tennis or basketball, the captain spent Sunday morning on the fitness bike and jogging.Klinsmann gave the players the rest of the day off. Since Friday's game, only Germany's reserves have practiced with a soccer ball - once."The weather is great, the mood if great. It's great to start the tournament with three points," Klinsmann said. "It gives us self-belief. But we have tougher days ahead, Poland has its back to the wall. For them it's a final," Klinsmann said. "They have to win."Poland lost its Group A opener against Ecuador 2-0. Klinsmann shrugged off mistakes that allowed Costa Rica to score twice against the three-time World Cup champions."We know where the mistakes were made, we've analysed them and we've talked with the players," Klinsmann said. "We are quite pleased to have scored four goals, two of which were spectacular, and that we played entertaining soccer."Much of the German media has been focusing on Germany's vulnerable defense, rather than celebrating the team's fresh approach of playing attacking, entertaining soccer."We'll always try to score one or two more goals than our opponents," Klinsmann said.Germany will resume practicing on Monday morning. In between, they can do whatever they want in their free time, as long as they are back in their hotel in a wooded suburb of Berlin. (AP)



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