WESTERBURG: Czech striker Milan Baros failed to resume training on Friday and team officials were sceptical about his availability for Monday's World Cup opener against the United States.
Baros strained a tendon in his left foot during Saturday's last warm-up against Trinidad and Tobago and has not trained since. On Friday, he kicked a ball around gently for 15 minutes and then spent the rest of the training session on the bench watching the others.
Czech team physician Petr Krejci looked worried and his previous optimism about Baros' condition was gone.
``Today, he was just running a little bit and kicked the ball and it's no good. As a result we have to revise our previous optimism and it's uncertain that he would be available against the United States,'' Krejci said after training.
If Baros is not available for Monday's game, Czech coach Karel Bruckner would miss a reliable scorer, who netted five goals in qualifying and a total of 27 in 49 internationals. Baros was particularly dangerous in partnership with Jan Koller, who recovered in time for the World Cup from a long-term knee injury.
Bruckner refused to say on Friday who might replace the Aston Villa striker. ``We have several options,'' Bruckner said. ``We still have some time and several alternatives to work on.''
In the past, when Bruckner was facing similar injury troubles, he often opted for a lone striker in Koller. Another option for him to take Baros' post is to field Hannover striker Jiri Stajner, or fleet-footed Libor Sionko of Glasgow Rangers who joined the team after attacking midfielder Vladimir Smicer was ruled out of the tournament because of a hamstring injury.
Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved, who pulled out of training Thursday after a collision with teammate David Rozehnal, took part in training Friday.
Friday's was the last open session for the Czechs who are scheduled to train behind close doors on Saturday before leaving for Gelsenkirchen the next day. AP