World Cup 2010: Germany camp hit by flu outbreak

Loew, Lahm and Podolski face a fitness battle ahead of Saturday's game...
A flu virus has struck Germany's camp on the eve of their third place play-off against Uruguay, according to team sources.

Coach Joachim Loew, as well as captain Philipp Lahm and winger Lukas Podolski, have all caught the virus. While all three are expected to perform their duties on Saturday, they were unable to complete their usual pre-match rituals.

"Loew is confined to his bed and will not take part in the pre-match press conference at Port Elizabeth this evening [Friday]," said DFB spokesman Harald Stenger.

In Loew's stead, assistant coach Hansi Flick will feature in Friday afternoon's press conference.

Stenger also alleviated concerns over Podolski and Lahm, who missed practice today: "Their state of health is less serious than that of the coach."

The flu is just the latest in a series of unfortunate events for the Germans. After losing their semi-final to Spain earlier this week, it was revealed that Miroslav Klose had sustained an injury. The forward, who is just one goal behind Ronaldo's record of 15 strikes at the World Cup, remains doubtful for Saturday's match.

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