Hummels fit for Champions League final

Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels revealed on Friday that he is fit to play in the all-German Champions League final against Bayern Munich after overcoming an ankle injury.

Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels arrives for check-in at the airport in Dortmund, Germany, on May 24, 2013. Hummels revealed on Friday that he is fit to play in the all-German Champions League final against Bayern Munich after overcoming an ankle injury.

The 24-year-old former Bayern player had to go off in the 78th minute of Dortmund's 2-1 loss at home to Hoffenheim last weekend, but he said he was ready to tackle his old club at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Asked if he would be able to play, he replied: "Yes. Fortunately, the horror was a lot worse than the actual problem.

"My foot's not quite as it was before but it's in order for a match and I hope I'll be able to get through the last job of the season.

"When I went over, it was a huge shock for a moment. I know that feeling from past years as I've had it before.

"Then, on Sunday, the ankle looked better than I thought and I thought I was going to be fit, so I was very happy."

Despite the fillip provided by Hummels's availability, Dortmund will still have to do without star playmaker Mario Goetze, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

It means the Germany international has already played his last game for the club, having agreed to join Bayern next season in a sensational 37 million euros (pound sterling31.7 million, $47.8 million) transfer.

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has likened the impact of Goetze's defection to a "heart attack", while reports suggest that Bayern are also poised to lure Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski to the Allianz Arena.

Hummels made the opposite journey in 2009 after being deemed surplus to requirements at Bayern.

In what could have been seen as a veiled warning to Lewandowski, he expressed hope that victory over Bayern on Saturday would prevent more of his team-mates from having their heads turned by the four-time European champions.

"It won't be our last opportunity to beat the Bavarians," he said. "We couldn't do it in the league or the cup (this season) but this is our third opportunity.

"It'd be fantastic if we could and it might show the players who were thinking about going to Munich they'd be missing out on something."

The Goetze transfer was the latest chapter in a story of escalating tension between the Bundesliga's top two sides of recent times, but Hummels sought to defuse talk of a grudge match.

"Our possible success is not about spoiling things for the Bavarians," he said. "It's about doing it for ourselves as a team. That's how we approached the quarter-finals and the semi-finals.

"We just want to win the cup, regardless of what the other team stands to lose, whether it's Real Madrid or Bayern Munich."

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency