Earlier in the week, Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer left open whether talismanic striker Max Kruse and first-choice goalkeeper Andreas Luthe would be available for Saturday's clash against SC Freiburg.
As die Eisernen boarded a southward bus headed for Briegau, Germany's Bild Zeitung reported that Luthe was still not with the team. It follows that Loirs Karius will start once again between the sticks.
The ever-outspoken Kruse provided a direct update via his Instagram account.
|Max Kruse.||Photo: © Superbass / CC-by-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)|
Sources at the BildZeitung claim that Andreas Luthe remains separated from his Bundesliga footballing club, still attending to a personal matter involving family illness. Back-up keeper Loris Karius, who earned a shutout in his Bundesliga start since 2016 last weekend, should once again feature in goal.
The free-wheeling Max Kruse required no independent media sources to provide updates on his status. The 32-year-old veteran posted a photo of himself on the bus to his Instagram account, proudly proclaiming his return from a torn muscle cluster that kept him out since early December with the caption "I'm once again ready to start!".
Kruse qualified this statement slightly by making clear that he meant he was prepared to start playing. Regarding his prospects for a return to the starting XI, he advised anyone considering adding them back to their fantasy football team to "wait a week, and then put me on!"
The Union-Freiburg fixture carries with it many interesting storylines. Two of the seasons biggest overachievers square-off. Freiburg find themselves in the ascendancy while Union have been been slumping as of late.
The match may also pit the two Schlotterbeck brothers against one another. Keven, the elder, currently suits up for the Badeners after spending last season on-loan at Union. Nico, the younger, is on loan in Berlin this season.