at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
WROCLAW, Poland – A decision on Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky's fitness will be made only hours before the team's final Group A match against Poland on Saturday.
Rosicky injured an Achilles tendon during Tuesday's 2-1 win over Greece and had to substituted after the first half. His absence would be a major blow for the Czech Republic's hopes of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004.
Rosicky said his condition has improved, but he still wasn't ready to resume training.
“It's getting better day by day,” he said at a pre-match news conference. “We decided that I wouldn't train. I will train in the morning and will make a final decision tomorrow.”
Czech team doctors usually want players to be fully fit a day before any match, but Rosicky insisted he has had a positive experience with such an arrangement from club team Arsenal when he experienced a similar problem.
“It's still a long time to the match,” he said.
Without his creative skills, the Czechs lost 2-1 to Hungary on June 1 in the final warm-up. He missed Euro 2008 because of an injury, and the Czechs subsequently collapsed in the final group stage match against Turkey and were eliminated.
Rosicky, known as “Little Mozart,” orchestrated a 2-0 against Greece and was replaced by Daniel Kolar for the second half.
The Czechs are a point ahead of Poland after beating Greece to revive their chances of advancing following an opening 4-1 loss to Russia.
Poland will be seeking a first victory in the tournament, which it's co-hosting along with Ukraine. If the Poles get through, it would be a first quarterfinal berth for them at the European Championships. Poland drew 1-1 in its previous two matches.
“We have a huge chance to qualify for the quarterfinals,” the 31-year-old Rosicky said. He was on the Czech team that reached the semifinals at Euro 2004. “We're fully aware of it and we want to use it. We have to be active from the start.”
Goalkeeper Petr Cech has recovered from a shoulder injury and resumed training Friday. Coach Michal Bilek said he does not plan any significant chances in his starting lineup. – Sapa-AP