Germany's World Cup injury problems ease

May 22, 2006

GENEVA, May 22 (Reuters) - Germany's World Cup injury worries eased on Monday as striker Lukas Podolski and midfielder Sebastian Kehl returned to training at their Swiss camp.

Podolski had been suffering from a back injury, while Kehl had been out with an ankle problem.

Central defender Christoph Metzelder and left-back Philipp Lahm are the only two players still nursing serious injuries.

Metzelder, who has a calf muscle injury, took part in light training on Monday morning but will not be able to take full part until Wednesday at the earliest.

'It's going very well,' Metzelder told reporters after Germany's training session at the Stade de Geneve. 'I'm pretty sure I'll be able to train on Wednesday.'

Lahm needed surgery on torn elbow ligaments last week and will need at least until the end of the month before he can rejoin the main group.

Mike Hanke and Tim Borowski both missed out on training on Wednesday with colds.

The World Cup hosts get the tournament underway against Costa Rica in Munich on June 9.