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Schweinsteiger out, Podolski doubtful

UEFA said in a statement that Schweinsteiger had been suspended for unsporting conduct.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters, Tenero, Switzerland
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 06:18 PM IST

Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be suspended for Monday's decisive Euro 2008 Group B game against Austria, while top scorer Lukas Podolski is doubtful with an ankle injury.

UEFA handed Schweinsteiger a one-match ban after he was sent off for pushing Jerko Leko to the ground in Germany's 2-1 defeat by Croatia, a result that leaves them needing at least a draw against the co-hosts to reach the quarter-finals.

That punishment was to be expected but the injury to Podolski, who has scored all three of Germany's goals at the tournament, came as a nasty shock for coach Joachim Loew.

"Podolski has taken a knock on the ankle and could not train today," Loew said at a news conference on Friday. "We'll have to wait and see. We may be forced to make changes."

Loew also revealed that Philipp Lahm had suffered a calf injury but the player said at a news conference he would certainly be fit for the game against Austria in Vienna.

Fullback Marcell Jansen is also doubtful with a shoulder injury but that may be academic as he played poorly against Croatia and would be lucky to keep his place even if fit.

UEFA said in a statement that Schweinsteiger had been suspended for unsporting conduct.

"The sending off was naturally very frustrating," Schweinsteiger told the German Football Association website (www.dfb.de) after receiving the first red card at these finals.

"But after the kick from behind I felt a stabbing pain in my already painful ankle and I reacted badly."

Loew said Schweinsteiger had made a mistake in being provoked into retaliation in the incident.

"It's a great pity that Bastian will be missing," Loew said. "Fortunately, it's only for one match ... but he has done us a disservice by getting sent off. I told the players not to get provoked or to react violently."

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