Rosicky may miss second leg of WC playoff

Midfielder Tomas Rosicky may miss the second leg of the Czech Republic's World Cup playoff against Norway.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Midfielder Tomas Rosicky may miss the second leg of the Czech Republic's World Cup playoff against Norway on Wednesday because of injury. Rosicky injured ankle and knee ligaments during his team's 1-0 win in the first leg on Saturday and has not trained with the team since. His condition was unclear Tuesday, Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner said. "It's an unpleasant injury,'' Bruckner said. "He has injured both, an ankle and a knee. We still don't know ... I still refuse to even think that I would have to replace him with someone else.'' Yellow card Rosicky's absence would be a blow for Bruckner, who will also be missing the suspended Tomas Galasek. The Czech Republic captain received his second yellow card in the first leg. Jan Polak of Nuremberg was likely to replace Galasek on Wednesday, while Pavel Nedved will take over as captain. The Czech Republic, which reached the semifinals at last year's European Championship, is seeking to qualify for its first World Cup finals since splitting with Slovakia in 1993. "We all know what is at stake,'' said Nedved, who returned from international retirement for the playoffs. "The motivation (to advance) is huge. "I played at three European championships but I never played at the World Cup,'' added the 33-year-old, who retired from international soccer after Euro 2004 because of a recurring knee injury. Awkward situations Norway, however, still believes it has a chance. "I think we'll see a totally different Norwegian team in Prague,'' Norway coach Aage Hareide said. "We have to try to put the pressure on the Czechs. But that opens the risk of them getting it the way they want it. They are strong at countering, and we can't lose the ball in awkward situations.'' Norway will be without Daniel Braaten due to yellow cards. Midfielder Christian Grindheim missed Monday's practice with a cold, but he was expected to be in shape for Wednesday's match. (AP)