Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas worked out with his teammates after undergoing tests on his injured right leg and is available to play in today’s World Cup semifinal against Germany.
The Spanish football federation said Fabregas had scans done on the leg after hurting it in a closed practice Monday. Tests ruled out “any type of bone injury.”
“He trained well, pretty well,” coach Vicente del Bosque said. “Yesterday we were pretty worried because he got hit right where he had been injured. But he’s available to play.”
Fabregas fractured a bone in his right leg in March.
OCTOPUS PICKS ...
The eight-legged oracle has spoken: Paul the octopus says Spain will beat Germany in today’s World Cup semifinal.
The octopus at Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, chose a mussel from a glass tank marked with a Spanish flag and ignored a tank emblazoned with Germany’s colors.
But there could still be hope for the Germans.
The only time the usually-prescient Paul has erred in the past was ahead of the Germany-Spain final at the 2008 European Championship. Paul picked Germany; Spain prevailed, 1-0.
CAPTAIN, OH CAPTAIN
Coach Joachim Loew said there is no discord in the German team following comments by defender Philipp Lahm that he wants to stay on as captain even if the injured midfielder Michael Ballack returns after the World Cup.
“It doesn’t bother us at all,” Loew said. “He (Lahm) said what he said honestly and he’s done an exemplary job as captain.”
Lahm, 26, is Germany’s youngest World Cup captain after an ankle injury forced longtime leader Ballack to miss the tournament.
Ghana’s World Cup players will be given national honors and $20,000 each after reaching the quarterfinals. ... New France coach Laurent Blanc said he was “outraged” by the behavior of certain players during the World Cup debacle and plans to rebuild the national team with only players he can trust. ... An Argentina legislator proposed building a monument to honor Diego Maradona, whose future as coach of the national team has been uncertain since it was eliminated in the quarterfinals. ... German police say two Italian men died after being shot following an argument at a bar in Hanover that apparently centered on the World Cup records of Italy and Germany. Police are still looking for the 42-year-old suspected gunman. ... One in three German residents watched the national team’s victory over Argentina in the quarterfinals. FIFA said 27.7 million viewers watched the German television broadcast, attracting 90 percent of all people watching television in Germany at that time.