Ibrahimovic ‘should be fit for Russian match’

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be fit to play against Russia in Wednesday's crucial Euro 2008 Group D match Sweden coach Lars Lagerbäck said on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Inter Milan marksman was replaced at half-time of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Spain – in which he had scored for the second game in succession – as he suffered a recurrence of the knee problem that kept him out of most of his club Inter Milan’s title run-in and made him a worry for the Spain match.

“We are taking it day by day,” said Lageräck, whose side need just a draw to progress to the last eight while the Russians must win.

“The fact he went off after one half against Spain and after he had played an hour against the Greeks (a 2-0 victory) should not be treated as negatively as that.

“I am counting on him playing against Russia.”

Ibrahimovic, who once memorably replied ‘I am brilliant’ to a question about how he would sum himself up, like the other starters against Spain did not train on Sunday, instead they contented themselves with a swimming session.

One of the Swedish medical team also expressed confidence that the former Ajax and Juventus star – who undergoes daily treatments of acupuncture and ultrasound, would be fit to take his place.

“We are confident he will be fit as the situation is stable, the pain he is feeling are similar to those that he felt after the first match,” said Magnus Forssblad.

“He did feel something after 45 minutes (against Spain) and as a precaution he came off. However, this morning all is going well and I believe he will play on Wednesday.”