Muto returns to Mainz training, Baumgartlinger downed with illness

The Karneval club have selection issues ahead of their return to Bundesliga action.

Muto returns to Mainz training, Baumgartlinger downed with illness
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1. FSV Mainz 05 were dealt some contrasting injury updates on Tuesday, which concerned two key players.

Julian Baumgartlinger had to return home early from international duty, while Yoshinori Muto is taking the necessary steps to make a first-team return.

Baumgartlinger blow

Given his recent upturn in form, especially in terms of goals, the Austrian midfielder's loss will come as a major worry to head coach Martin Schmidt.

Bamgartlinger is the side's captain and has helped lead the Karneval club to seventh, although they sit a mere three points behind Schalke 04 in fourth.

This may open up the chance for Christopher Moritz to return to the starting eleven, or Danny Latza and Fabian Frei to form a midfielder partnership.

Currently out with an illness, Baumgartlinger joins Leon Balogun and Gianluca Curci on the sidelines with similar problems.

Muto's return will be a welcome one. | Source: 1. FSV Mainz 05
Muto's return will be a welcome one. | Source: 1. FSV Mainz 05

Better news with Muto

There is more positive updates regarding the fitness of striker Yoshinori Muto, who is set for a return to the squad this weekend.

The Japanese forward could make his long awaited return from injury against FC Augsburg, having been out for nearly two months.

Muto ruptured knee ligaments in early February and has been out of action since, though he is unlikely to be thrown into the starting line-up immediately.

Can he take Cordoba's place?

That is largely down to the form of Jhon Cordoba, who has flourished in Muto's absence. The Colombian forward has picked up the scoring from where his team-mate left off.

And while Mainz try to angle a deal for Cordoba, rumoured to be around the €5m mark, they now have a selection dilemma on their hands.

Before the injury, Muto managed seven goals and four assists. Cordoba found the net three times in a row after the winter break, after getting over his own injury woes.