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Austria forward Roland Linz back in training despite left ankle injury prior to Poland match

Austria forward Roland Linz back in training despite left ankle injury prior to Poland match

Austria forward Roland Linz ignored a left ankle injury Tuesday to take part in training to try to secure his spot in the lineup for Austria's next European Championship match against Poland.
"I don't see a problem for the Poland match," Linz said after finishing the complete session.
The 26-year-old striker skipped Monday's training to get treatment after tearing ligaments in Austria's opening match against Croatia the previous day.
Austria team doctor Ernst Schopp ruled Linz out of Tuesday's training, stating the striker would need an unspecified period of time for further recovery, but Linz returned to the field to take Austria coach Josef Hickersberger by surprise.
"I didn't expect to see him at the training today," Hickersberger said. "He was definitely not pain-free, but he wants to fight for his place in the team as he knows we have some good replacements at our disposal. I like that attitude."
At a pre-tournament training camp last May, Hickersberger had publicly criticized Linz among some other players of the Austrian team for taking too much time off from training after recovering from injuries.
Linz then skipped training for three days with a sore thigh muscle.
"We must use every chance in training to better our team play _ even when players are suffering from little pains," Hickersberger said.
Defender Emanuel Pogatetz, who skipped Monday's training with a bruised right instep, also completed the full training session Tuesday.
Linz, by far the most experienced striker in the Austrian squad, could play a key role in plans to play an attacking game against Poland on Thursday.
Linz hardly got any chances in the opening 1-0 loss to Croatia and was replaced by Roman Kienast after 73 minutes, who brought new freshness and spirit to Austria's attack and almost scored with a header. Austria lost the match to an early penalty goal by Luka Modric.
Poland was also beaten in its Group B opening match _ 2-0 by Germany.
"It's all or nothing. We need a victory _ as Poland does _ but we won't play totally offensive," Hickersberger said. "First we must avoid conceding a goal, then we must create and convert our scoring chances better than we did against Croatia."
Germany and Croatia play each other in Klagenfurt on Thursday, hours before Austria meets Poland in Vienna.