Germany to make late decision on Frings' fitness

June 18, 2008

TENERO, Switzerland, June 18 (Reuters) - Germany will leave it until the last possible moment before deciding whether Torsten Frings has recovered sufficiently from a rib injury to play in Thursday's Euro 2008 quarter-final against Portugal.

'We won't decide until just before we have to hand in the team sheet,' Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Midfielder Frings did not even notice he had fractured a rib in Monday's 1-0 win over Austria in Germany's final Group B match until the next day, when it was confirmed by an x-ray.

'If the medics say there is even a slight chance of a serious injury then we won't risk it,' Bierhoff said. 'But I have to give credit to him. He's eager to play.'

Germany's other injury worry is forward Lukas Podolski, who has a problem with his calf.

'Things have improved greatly over the last 24 hours but with muscle problems you never know,' Bierhoff said.