With all the injuries, training delays and fitness worries the last thing Germany needed were other distractions. Unfortunately the week at camp got off to the worst start imaginable after a car accident shocked the team and left two people injured at a sponsors event.
There was some positive news, however, with the arrival of Sami Khedira from his Champions League celebrations. The midfielder announced he was making good progress in his quest to regain full fitness and already trained with the team.
Accident leaves players stunned
The accident occurred at a driving event held by the team’s sponsor, Mercedes. The drivers, Pascal Wehrlein and Formula One driver Nico Rosberg, were accompanied by passengers Julian Draxler and Benedikt Höwedes, who witnessed the accident first-hand. Draxler and Höwedes were said to be deeply affected by it according to team general manager Oliver Bierhoff.
Four more players were ready to take part in the even but the accident stopped it completely and the scheduled test game against the U20 side was also canceled as a result. The drivers along with Bierhoff visited the injured men in the hospital and local police said the course was sealed and made safe prior to the event, choosing not to reveal any further information.
Bierhoff and the team also made psychologists available to Draxler and Höwedes to deal with the trauma of the event. “Julian and Benedikt had the need to discuss it afterwards. We immediately made our sports psychologist available who talked with both the drivers and the players,” Bierhoff said.
With fitness worries and time ticking until their opener against Portugal, distractions like these are the last thing Germany needs so one would hope it hasn’t affected the players or the team too negatively.
Khedira arrival a big boost
The brightest news of the week was the arrival and progress of Sami Khedira, who has been trying to recover from an ACL tear last November and just recently returned to action with his club. Khedira, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, participated in their first team training on Wednesday and are both making good progress.
Taking part in the press conference, Khedira gave a detailed update on his fitness situation as well as Tuesday’s accident:
On his fitness situation: “I am fit. It’s only the little details now that I have to work at but it’s going step by step. The goal was always the World Cup and luckily I’ve been recovering quickly. I’m sure that by June 16th (opener against Portugal) I’ll be ready to go. One must always listen to one’s body but I’m not holding back in training or in duels. I’m also doing separate condition and strength training to prepare myself the best possible way.”
On Tuesday’s accident: “Of course we discussed this internally as a team. Also with Benedikt Höwedes and Julian Draxler. These things can happen. We’re hoping that the victims can recovery quickly and we have to now try to focus on the task at hand. Nevertheless, we obviously wish everyone involved the best.”
Also a boost was Philipp Lahm running again after doing individual sessions the first couple of days. The Germany captain is close to being able to participate in full team trainings and is also making good progress. Marcel Schmelzer too started running again but also has not begun participating in team training yet.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer however still had to stay behind in the team hotel, recovering and working on the shoulder injury he suffered in the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund.
Also check out a DFB interview with Germany newcomer Matthias Ginter and his experience training with and being called up to the senior team.
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