Hitzfeld slams English doctors for extended Shaqiri absence

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The former Switzerland boss says the Stoke winger could have returned sooner from injury were he back in the Bundesliga

Former Switzerland and Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld has suggested that Xherdan Shaqiri's slow return from injury has been partially due to Stoke's sub-par medical staff. 

The Switzerland international has missed nine matches with problems in both calves, though he was initially only expected to be out a week or two. 

And Hitzfeld has pointed the finger squarely at English medical methods to explain his former player's extended absence. 

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"In general, the medical department in England are not as strong, not so well trained as those in Switzerland or in Germany," Hitzfeld told Blick

"The English have the worse doctors than the Swiss or the Germans. Regarding regeneration, preparation or fitness, Switzerland and Germany are ahead of the English.

"Xherdan is a powerful young man. He has many incredible muscles and calves like I have thighs. This makes you more vulnerable, especially because Xherdan relies on his speed, from his acceleration; his speed and manoeuvrability."

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Were Shaqiri still at former club Bayern Munich, Hitzfeld reckons he would have been back in action already.

"The best practice was at Bayern," Hitzfeld said. "Dr. [Hans-Wilhelm] Muller-Wohlfahrt is a genius in Europe.

"He has incredible feeling in his fingertips. He feels every little change of a muscle fibre. Shaqiri is now missing from Stoke."

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Shaqiri has made 14 Premier League appearances this season, scoring three goals. 

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