Soccer-German Hummels returns to training after knee injury


By Erik Kirschbaum

SANTO ANDRE, Brazil, July 10 (Reuters) - Germany defender Mats Hummels will be able to train with his team mates on Thursday after undergoing treatment for a knee injury and the extra day of rest before Sunday's World Cup final is a clear advantage, assistant coach Hansi Flick said.

Hummels is suffering from tendonitis and asked to be taken off at halftime during Germany's semi-final against Brazil on Tuesday.

"All the players will be able to train, whether it's on an exercise bike or on the pitch - whichever they prefer," Flick told a news conference at Germany's team base in a remote part of north-eastern Brazil ahead of an afternoon training session.

"It's up to each individual to decide what they want to do in training," added Flick.

He said Thursday's session, the first for Germany after Tuesday's incredible 7-1 win over Brazil, would focus on regeneration.

Germany had been playing with four days between matches in the tournament until now and will get a fifth day before the final against Argentina.

"The extra day of rest before the match is obviously very important," he said ahead of Germany's seventh match since June 16.

"When you talk to the players they all say they really appreciate having that extra day off now."

Argentina, who beat the Netherlands in their semi-final on Wednesday, will have one less day of rest before the final.

Hummels asked to be taken off at halftime against Brazil due to the injury. He first hurt his knee in Germany's 4-0 win over Portugal in their opening game of the tournament.

Hummels, who scored Germany's winner in the 1-0 victory over France in the quarter-final and a goal against Portugal, said he felt pain in his knee during the warm-up.

"I made the decision that it's perhaps better to take myself out so that I wouldn't break anything," he said. "We'll have to see exactly what it is. It's not something tiny but fortunately I don't think it's anything that would endanger Sunday." (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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