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Middle men Schweinsteiger and Khedira bring cheer to Germany

Germany's hopes of having a fully-fit squad in Brazil received a boost yesterday when holding midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira trained with the team for the first time.

Bayern Munich's Schweinsteiger has endured an injury-ridden season with an inflamed knee the latest setback to keep him out of action in recent weeks. Khedira, who formed a solid midfield partnership with Schweinsteiger in the previous two finals, has only recently returned to action after a six-month lay-off with a torn cruciate ligament in his knee.

He has played only a handful of games since his recovery, including starting for Real Madrid's victorious Champions League side last week, and only joined the German squad on Monday evening. Both players appeared to be moving freely on the pitch on a sunny day in the Italian Alps, the site of Germany's pre-tournament training camp.

It was not all good news for coach Joachim Loew, however, with captain Philipp Lahm completing just a light training run yesterday while injured defender Marcel Schmelzer also worked out alone.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been ruled out for at least a few more days and will not train at all in Italy as he recovers from a shoulder injury with team officials insisting his participation was not in doubt.

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