Joachim Low has virtually ruled Cacau out of tomorrow's FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final with Argentina in Cape Town.
The forward missed last weekend's defeat of England with an abdominal strain and has not trained since. Low has not entirely ruled the Bayern Munich star out of his plans but admitted this afternoon: "We have to be realistic. I don't think he will be able to play tomorrow."
Germany's other major injury doubt is striker Lukas Podolski, who missed training yesterday with a muscle strain. "He has had physio today in our hotel," confirmed Low. "The plan is for him to take part in training this evening. If he fails his fitness test, we will have to come up with another solution."
The answer is likely to be either Marko Marin or Marcell Jansen as Germany look to repeat their victory over the South Americans at the same stage of the competition four years ago. Happily, Low had better news of young playmaker Mesut Ozil, who also missed training yesterday but only so he could have a rest after a tiring campaign.
Even after 100 caps he is still very hungry and ambitious for more success.
"Last year, Ozil played in the European Under-21 championships so he has had a long season," said Low. "He lost energy in the weeks leading up to the tournament and then worked very hard against England, so I gave him a day off to recharge his batteries."
With Cacau struggling to be fit, it seems certain that Miroslav Klose will earn his 100th cap against Diego Maradona's side at Green Point Stadium. The 32-year-old scored his 50th goal for Germany in the 4-1 win over England, and Low expects that goals will follow.
"If someone has 100 caps, that is self-explanatory," said the Germany coach. "We can't praise him enough as he has scored 50 goals in that process, so he scores in every second game. Miroslav has recovered well in the last few years even, after he has had a bad patch for his club.
"You may sometimes think he is dithering and being self-critical, but he knows himself very well, he knows precisely what his level of fitness is and he is very modest, which I really appreciate about him. No matter what the victory is, he remains down to earth and handles things in a modest way. Even after 100 caps he is still very hungry and ambitious for more success."