Tue, 29 Nov 2022

DOHA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- German striker Niclas Fullkrug is a doubt for his side's opening game of the World Cup after managing director Oliver Bierhoff confirmed on Saturday that he was suffering from the flu.

The 29-year-old, who has been in great form this season for Werder Bremen with 10 goals in 14 Bundesliga games, showed he can cover for the losses of Timo Werner and Lukas Nmecha through injuries when he scored the winning goal in Wednesday's warmup game against Oman.

However, he missed Saturday's first training session in Qatar with the flu, meaning that he has to be considered a doubt for Germany's World Cup opener against Japan next Wednesday.

"He is not in a very bad way at this moment, but we will see hour to hour how it develops," said Bierhoff, who was relatively confident that Fullkrug would be available.

"I think that there is enough time for him to be ready for the match. You never know, but it did not sound too dramatic after talking with the medical staff," he added.

Fullkrug was the only player missing from Saturday's session, with Thomas Muller and Antonio Rudiger both working with their teammates after recent injury problems.

Germany and Spain are favorites to qualify from Group E, which also contains Costa Rica as well as Japan.

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