Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Köln
B. Lasme (59)
S. Özcan (17)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Baumgart gives squad update and speaks on vaccines: "We kept at it and convinced the guys."

Ahead of an important away match against Bielefeld on Saturday, 1. FC Kuoln head-coach Steffen Baumgart confirmed that captain Jonas Hector would not be traveling with the team. 

In a rather poignant scene at his Thursday press conference, Baumgart also spoke on the topic of footballer vaccinations. The head-coach gleefully noted Köln's 100 percent vaccination rate and proudly explained how it was achieved. 
Steffen Baumgart confirmed at his Thursday presser that the injury incurred by Jonas Hector during last week's big derby win would leave the captain sidelined for the time being. According to the Geißböcke gaffer, the knee knock suffered by the captain wasn't a serious structural injury, but explained that "the risk was too great" to take the former German national team fullback up north to East Westphalia.

Baumgart didn't wish to discuss the specifics of his replacement options. Benno Schmitz switched over to Hector's left hand side after the skipper exited the Gladbach fixture in the 51st minute. Both Schmitz and Hector's substituted replacement Kingsley Schindler performed very well down the stretch. Baumgart has Schindler, Kingsley Ehizibue, and even a now fully fit back from injury Jannes Horn as choices for his rearward flanks.

Baumgart also spoke on the team's vaccination rate during the press conference. Köln have been perhaps the most active Bundesliga club when it comes to vaccination drives. Baumgart and the other two cathedral city football head coaches participated in a public service drive to get more local citizens inoculated against COVID last week.

Köln were the first Bundesliga club to adopt "2G" and have, without exception, offered free vaccinations to fans at the stadium at every last home fixture. Baumgart spoke on the 100 percent vaccination rate among players and staff. The 49-year-old actually seemed keen to speak on the topic.

"We kept at it and convinced the guys," Baumgart noted, "We didn't sit back and accept it. We kept talking to the guys. We tried our best to not leave them hanging with their legitimate concerns. We did our best to get answers for them through our medical team led by Bettina Kuper."

"Thanks to all of this, we're just happy that we went this way with the lads and that they choose to go this way with us," Baumgart concluded.

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