Schweinsteiger in fitness race
Captain backs Germany midfielder but doubts remain over ankle
Last Updated: June 24, 2012 3:44pm
Bastian Schweinsteiger: Hoping to be fit for Germany's semi-final but could be on the bench
Germany skipper Philipp Lahm is tipping Bastian Schweinsteiger to win his fitness battle and play in Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final.
Schweinsteiger has missed the last three training sessions and the vice-captain appears to be feeling the effects of having played all four of Germany's games so far in the tournament.
The 27-year-old midfielder is struggling with the same ankle that was hurt in February and kept the Bayern Munich man out of action for a month.
"We need fit players in the semi-finals, we can't have anyone who is missing three or four percent."
Philipp Lahm Quotes of the week
But Lahm is backing his team-mate to be fit for the semi-final - against the winner of Sunday's game between England and Italy - and help Germany's bid to reach the final in Kiev on 1st July.
"It's true, having had to miss three training sessions makes things a bit unclear for him," said Lahm.
"We need fit players in the semi-finals, we can't have anyone who is missing three or four per cent.
"Having said that, I don't worry much about Bastian Schweinsteiger's state of health, he knows his body as well as anyone and I'm sure he'll be on that pitch on Thursday evening."
Schweinsteiger set up both Germany's goals in their 2-1 group stage win over Holland at Euro 2012 but was below par in their 4-2 victory over Greece in Friday's quarter-final.
"Against the Greeks, there were a few bad passes from me, which never normally happens," he admitted.
"This shouldn't happen to a player like me.
"To be honest, the ankle is worrying me, especially when I explode off it."
"To be honest, the ankle is worrying me."
Bastian Schweinsteiger Quotes of the week
Schweinsteiger has said he would have no problem starting on the bench if coach Joachim Low decides not to start him on Thursday.
"If the coach decides so, I would have no problem with that," he added after Low dropped forwards Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller for the win over Greece.
"We rotated a few people against Greece.
"People like Marco Reus, Jerome Boateng, Andre Schurrle and Miroslav Klose came into the team, for them it was very important they had the backing of their team mates.
"Something like that is not self-evident in every side."