Since the final whistle of the cup game against SC Paderborn (3:1), it has been the topic at Bayer 04.
How badly was Florian Wirtz affected, who had to be substituted shortly before halftime due to a kick on his right foot causing great pain? And: Will the creative player win the race against time for the top match on Sunday at VfB Stuttgart?
Xabi Alonso: "I don't know if the chances are 50:50 or 60:40"
While Xabi Alonso could answer the first question on Friday as expected positively, the coach was not yet ready to completely dispel the question mark behind the second. "He did individual training and therapy today. We are looking day by day. We have to see how much it improves by tomorrow," explained Leverkusen's coach in a neutral manner, "tomorrow is the final training and then we have an extra day until Sunday. It's too early to say anything. We decide tomorrow."
However, upon further questioning, the Basque at least revealed a slightly positive trend. "It's not a major injury. One day can be very important," he hinted, "He feels better every day, but I don't know if the chances are 50:50 or 60:40."
However, he did give a really optimistic outlook when it came to possible alternatives in case Wirtz couldn't play in Stuttgart. Xabi Alonso stated: "We have several options, but it's too early to make a decision. I always like to stay optimistic and right now I have good reasons for it, but we still need to wait a bit."
Given that Xabi Alonso often likes to keep his opponents in the dark about his own personnel, this statement by the 42-year-old can be seen as a relatively clear indication of Wirtz's possible participation. So, Bayer can hope for their top star in the big match against the third-placed team.