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Since 1st March, 1999
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Ballack stays doubtful against Scotland
- The calf injury keeps appearing for no real reason... We hope
he will be able to make it: Rudi Voeller

Glasgow: Germany playmaker Michael Ballack is doubtful for Saturday’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow because of a calf injury.

The Bayern Munich playmaker could not train properly on Thursday because of a sore calf muscle.

Ballack has not played for Germany since November because of various injuries.

“The calf injury keeps appearing for no real reason,” said Germany coach Rudi Voeller. “We obviously want him to play and we hope he will be able to make it.

“He didn’t train before we played Paraguay in the (2002) World Cup last year and he did ok then. We hope therefore for the same tomorrow.

“It’s ironic that he is so highly-rated and we wanted him to be available for this match, yet his appearance is in jeopardy.”

In Budapest, Hungary’s first choice goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly pulled up in training on Thursday and will miss the group IV qualifier against leaders Latvia on Saturday.

The MTI news agency said the Hertha Berlin keeper pulled a muscle in his left leg just minutes after the squad began training in the Hungarian capital.

Earlier, Ferencvaros goalkeeper Lajos Szucs pulled out of the squad, saying he was still affected by a crowd invasion targeting players and officials at a league game.

Ferencvaros striker Attila Tokoli had also quit the national squad, claiming he was mentally affected by a pitch invasion at the end of his club’s 0-0 draw against Debrecen last Friday — a result that allowed rivals MTK to clinch the Hungarian title.

Some players, coaching staff and photographers were punched and kicked in violent scenes that have prompted a government inquiry.

Hungary coach Imre Gellei called up Videoton’s Zoltan Vegh for the Latvia game and he now looks set to play in Kiraly’s absence. Gellei will also almost certainly be without Benfica striker Miklos Feher who went to hospital for checks on a knee injury.

Latvia top the group with 10 points, ahead of Poland with seven. Hungary are third, equal on five with Sweden. San Marino have yet to earn a point. Hungary next travel to San Marino on June 11.

Sinclair ruled out

Meanwhile, West Ham United midfielder Trevor Sinclair has been ruled out of England’s qualifier against Slovakia next Wednesday with a thigh injury, the FA said on Friday, adds a report from London.

Sinclair sustained the injury while training with England in Spain last week, and was unable to play in Tuesday’s 2-1 friendly win over Serbia and Montenegro. Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is not planning to call up a replacement for the group VII match, being played at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

There was some good news for Eriksson though, as centre back Matthew Upson, who made his international debut against South Africa last month, has recovered from a similar injury and will resume training at the weekend.

Upson, who moved to Birmingham City midway through last season after failing to secure a first-team place at Arsenal, could partner Gareth Southgate in defence as England are without injured regulars Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand.

England top Group Seven with 10 points, Turkey have nine points and Slovakia are third with six points.

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