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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 2, 2006

Ballack and Klose winning their fitness fights

BERLIN, July 2 (Reuters) - Captain Michael Ballack and leading scorer Miroslav Klose will recover from minor injuries to play in Germany's World Cup semi-final against Italy, assistant coach Joachim Loew said on Sunday.

'They can both play on Tuesday,' Loew said at a news conference. 'They are getting daily treatment and the next few days will be a case of recuperation for them.'

Ballack needed lengthy treatment for cramp during Germany's quarter-final victory over Argentina on Friday.

He eventually came back on and scored a penalty in the shoot-out that clinched Germany's win -- 4-2 on penalties after the match had finished 1-1 at the end of extra-time.

Klose got the equaliser for Germany, his fifth goal of the tournament, before being forced off with a calf injury received when he bumped into Roberto Abbondanzieri, a collision that led to the Argentina keeper's substitution.

'They both ran an incredible amount in that game,' Loew said. 'We have been working intensively for six weeks and the match used up a lot of our energy.'

Assuming Ballack and Klose do recover, coach Juergen Klinsmann will be able to name his first choice line-up for the third successive game.

Germany have won all five of their matches so far in the World Cup. A sixth win on Tuesday would take them through to the July 9 final in Berlin against either Portugal or France.

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