Thursday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger remains sidelined; Ronaldinho makes debut; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger remains sidelined; Ronaldinho makes debut; and more

European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger remains sidelined; Ronaldinho makes debut; and more

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BastianSchweinsteigerBayernMunich1-RealMadridUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Bastian Schweinsteiger isn’t any closer to returning to the field.

The Bayern Munich midfielder continues to struggle with patellar tendonitis in his knees, and hasn’t trained fully since the end of August, when he was shut down due to continued problems.

Schweinsteiger’s last competitive appearance was the World Cup final on July 13, when he played all 120 minutes, and the latest news is that he’s now expected to miss Germany’s next international matches on Oct. 11 at Poland and on Oct. 14 against the Republic of Ireland. Schweinsteiger was appointed captain of the national team after the international retirement of Philipp Lahm.

“Bastian is now only in the beginning of the whole training process,” Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters. Rummenigge added that while he’s not a doctor, he hoped that Schweinsteiger would make a quick return.

Bayern’s injury problems aren’t getting much better, as Franck Ribery has reportedly been shut down for at least two weeks with fresh knee problems. Ribery was ruled out of Bayern’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League due to the injury.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

RONALDINHO MAKES QUERETARO DEBUT, SKIES PENALTY KICK

Ronaldinho may have made his debut for Queretaro on Wednesday evening, but it was clear to see that he still is a ways away from returning to match fitness.

The former World Player of the Year, who’s signing has initiated a media and fan frenzy in Mexico, showed his rust in Queretaro’s 1-0 loss to Tigres UANL in Copa MX action. Ronaldinho had a perfect opportunity to score on his debut when Tigres were whistled for a penalty kick, but the Brazilian midfielder skied his penalty kick over the bar.

Although it was his first appearance, Ronaldinho played the full 90 minutes.

CHELSEA’S COSTA DEALING WITH A HAMSTRING INJURY

Jose Mourinho will have to be smart about his squad rotation policy as key players deal with injuries.

Chelsea were without their top forward on Wednesday in their 1-1 draw with Schalke 04, and Mourinho admitted after the game that he will have to manage Diego Costa’s minutes due to a niggling hamstring injury.

“He has a problem and he can’t play, in this moment, three matches in a week,” Mourinho said. “If he has one week to let the muscle recover he can start again like he was before he had that problem with the national team. But three days, after Saturday, is not enough.

“Not selecting him here was not to protect him for the game for Sunday, but because today he was not in the condition after Saturday. He had a problem in the national team, not with us. And now we have a problem and have to resolve it as best we can. He was not fit enough to start against Schalke. On Sunday we believe he will be.”

Mourinho started veteran forward Didier Drogba up top against Schalke 04. Costa has already scored seven goals in four English Premier League games.

QUICK KICKS

Raphael Varane has extended his contract with Real Madrid through June 2020. (REPORT)

At least two CSKA Moscow fans were hospitalized after suffering reported stab wounds in altercations with AS Roma supporters. (REPORT)

Juventus are reportedly interested in signing Bayern Munich 17-year-old Gianluca Gaudino. (REPORT)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his job as Cardiff City manager after a poor run of form. (REPORT)

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What do you think of this news? Do you expect Schweinsteiger and Ribery to return by the end of October? Do you feel they have the depth to continue to be one of the world’s best teams without that pair? What did you think of Ronaldinho’s debut?

Share your thoughts below.

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