In his Thursday presser, Werder Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt confirmed that three of his oft-injured attacking options would be available for selection on Saturday against Augsburg.
The 38-year-old trainer remained noncommittal when asked if the recently exiled Yuya Osako may have a path back into the squad.
For the less than convincing Hanseaten of North Germany, the same debilitating issues from last season persist: injuries, injuries, injuries.
One assumes that, had the likes of Niclas Füllkrug, Davie Selke, and Milot Rashica been able to stay healthy, the Werderaner might find themselves in a more stable mid-table position. Regarding the offensive trio, Florian Kohfeldt at least had some cautious optimism to offer.
It has been nothing short of a disastrous campaign for 24-year-old Kosovar winger Milot Rashica. Ongoing knee issues have not only kept him out of the team, but also plunged his market value and effectively torpedoed any hopes the once promising youngster had of securing a transfer. Kohfeldt told the press corps that Rashica would be included in his first matchday squad since round nine in the weekend's upcoming fixture.
Niclas Füllkrug, the star transfer of the 2019/20 campaign, demonstrated how critical he could be to Werder's overall performance with a hat trick in 2020/21's second round. Two weeks later, he again succumbed to injury. Kohfeldt has only been able to slowly reintegrate him into the squad with two relief appearances in his the last two fixtures. The coach noted that both Füllkrug and constantly injured striker Davie Selke were both fit enough to "play for longer stretches."
The young trainer will certainly need all of the help he can get against an Augsburg squad six points ahead of his team in the table. Werder's play in recent weeks has led to Kohfeldt voicing very public criticism of his team's commitment and effort level on the training pitch. Additionally, following a cascade of criticism emanating from all levels of the club, former club cog Yuya Osako was very publicly dropped from the bench squad last week.
Kohfreldt couldn't escape questions about Osako at the presser. It remained very much unclear what the trainer meant when he stated that a potential return to the first-team would be decided by the player's "own rationale". While the Werder bosses have declared themselves open to a transfer for the 30-year-old Japanese international, Kohfeldt is one record as denying that he wishes to rid himself of an attacker he values.
When asked about Osako's demotion last week, Kohfeldt simply stated that he felt that the veteran needed a "two to three week mental break."