Germany and Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has moved to allay any lingering fears that he may not be fit for Euro 2016 by insisting he is "right on schedule" in his recovery from injury. The experienced campaigner, a crucial component of the side that triumphed at the 2014 World Cup, has not played at all since tearing his medial collateral ligament during a training session with Die Mannschaft in March.
That was the second knee problem to hit Schweinsteiger in just a matter of weeks, with initial damage suffered in an FA Cup tie against Sheffield United in January keeping him sidelined for two months. Those prolonged absences did not result in any exclusion from the international set-up, however, with long-serving Germany manager Joachim Low naming his captain in a provisional 27-man squad for the European Championship finals in France this summer. His future at Old Trafford will likely be assessed over the coming months, with Jose Mourinho widely expected to be unveiled as Louis van Gaal's successor later this week.
"I am fine and I am right on schedule," the player was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo at a press conference held on Wednesday (25 May) after Germany began their pre-tournament training camp on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Ascona, Switzerland.
"I live for that schedule hour after hour. Ahead of the World Cup 2014 the situation was worse. I will be ready. Of course injuries are always a setback. But I don't know the phrase 'to give up'."
Three-time winners Germany have until 31 May to confirm their final 23-man selection, with warm-up friendlies against fellow finalists Slovakia and Hungary to come on home turf before they kick-off their Group C campaign against Ukraine at Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy on 12 June. Influential centre-back Mats Hummels, set to rejoin former club Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund in July, has also seen his preparations hampered by a muscle fibre tear to the calf that Low predicts should not see him miss any more than a few days.
On Schweinsteiger, he added: "Physically he has done everything asked of him. Sometimes he trained as much as three times a day. He has a good basis now and I am optimistic for the coming weeks."