VfB trainer Pellegrino Matarazzo provided injury updates ahead of Friday's clash with RB Leipzig at his Thursday presser.
Jesse Marsch of RB Leipzig finds himself suddenly under a bit of extra scrutiny after his incredibly valuable and immensely deep squad lost to a COVID depleted Mainz side in the league's opening weekend. Despite the fact that Matarazzo's 2021/22 version of his team rolls into Saxony having outscored opponents by a combined 11-1 scoreline, the Swabians must still be considered the underdogs.
Stuttgart did well in the Pokal and against promoted Fürth in round one despite having several absentee problems of their own. Talismanic striker Sasa Kalajdzic barely had time to regain fitness after returning from this summer's European Championships before testing positive for COVID.
Kalajdzic and fellow positive test Tanguy Coulibaly only just returned to training this week. Perhaps in light of the significant nature of tomorrow's fixture Matarazzo surprised many by openly stating that the nearly two meter tall Austrian would be available off the bench late against Leipzig.
"I'm seeing a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes for him at this fitness level," Matarazzo emphasized at his presser.
Unfortunately, Coulibaly's reintegration into the team training has gone a little slower. The VfB trainer noted that the club would give the French attacker more time before rushing him back. Stuttgart's head-coach also ruled out midfielder Atakan Karazor, whom he said continued to suffer from "muscle inflammation issues."