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By ESPN Staff

Baros may play for Czechs against Italy

WESTERBURG, Germany, June 20 (Reuters) - Czech Republic striker Milan Baros returned to full training on Tuesday after struggling with a foot injury and could play in Thursday's Group E match against Italy.

'There is a chance Milan Baros will be fit for the Italy game,' coach Karel Brueckner told reporters.

The return of Baros would be greatly welcomed by the Czech team, who are much depleted ahead of the match, which they need to win to guarantee a place in the knock-out stage.

Baros, top scorer at Euro 2004, had not trained properly since sustaining the injury in a June 3 friendly and it had looked as though he might not play in the tournament at all.

He said his foot felt much better but declined to say whether he thought he would definitely play.

'I'm not thinking about the game on Thursday yet because I've just had the first training today and I'll see what's going to happen tonight,' he said, referring to how his foot would react to the training.

Injuries and suspensions have limited Brueckner's options for the game, particularly among forwards as Jan Koller has a hamstring injury and his replacement Vratislav Lokvenc picked up two yellow cards over the first two games.

Baros has great pace and his return would provide a lift for the team after the surprise 2-0 defeat to Ghana on Saturday.

Despite the frustration of watching both matches so far from afar, Baros was philosophical about his bad luck.

'This is football, this is life. Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down. Unfortunately this happened at the worst moment, at the World Cup,' he said.