2014 World Cup: Germany hopeful Hummels will be fit to face Ghana on Saturday
Germany defender Mats Hummels is undergoing extensive treatment for a thigh injury but it is still uncertain whether he will be fit for Germany’s next World Cup match against Ghana on Saturday, assistant coach Hansi Flick said.
Flick also indicated that – if Hummels is fit – Germany would field the same starting line-up on Saturday against Ghana that thrashed Portugal 4-0 in their Group G opening match.
“We’re hopeful even though it’s going to be really close call (whether he is fit in time),” Flick told a news conference. “We’re counting on him being able to play. But if not we’ve got alternatives. He’s getting treatment all day long.”
Hummels, a bulwark of Germany’s defence who also scored a goal in Germany’s 4-0 win over Portugal, suffered a severe bruise in his right thigh in the 73rd minute of the Portugal match after colliding in the air with Eder. Hummels had to be helped off the pitch and has not trained with his team since.
Flick said that if Hummels could not play on Saturday then right back Jerome Boateng would likely move into the central defence with Per Mertesacker and Shkodran Mustafi could start as right back. Mustafi replaced Hummels on Monday.
Flick said that captain Philipp Lahm, who has also played the right back position for Germany, would remain in midfield.
“If Mats can’t play that would be one alternative,” Flick said. “But we’re optimistic that we won’t have to change anything.”
Asked about the possibility of moving Lahm from his holding midfielder position to the right back, Flick said that was not going to happen.
“Everything worked out very well against Portugal,” he said. “We’re expecting Mats will be able to play. We don’t see that alternative (Lahm switching to right back) but rather see him staying in the midfield.”
Boateng was also injured in the Portugal match, suffering partially tore ligaments in his right thumb after falling in the first half. He will have to wear a protective splint for the next six weeks.
Both Hummels and Boateng were instrumental in Germany’s victory over Portugal and would be difficult to replace. Germany has a surfeit of midfielders but are short on defenders.