The accident happened on the goal line. Jesper Lindström wanted to flank, Hrovje Smolčić tried to prevent this – and as a result, the Dane slipped into an advertising board. Lindström, involved in the duel with the Croatian, had twisted and injured his left ankle. Distorted in pain, the Eintracht professional hunched on the floor for minutes. It was immediately clear to the watching fans, who were allowed to attend the public training session on Wednesday in snowdrifts and drizzle: For Lindström, this training session was over.

Ralf Weitbrecht

Sports editor.

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The striker was not even able to leave the pitch limping. Instead, he had to be carried by backup goalkeeper Jens Grahl and a coach. It is highly questionable whether the 23-year-old Scandinavian can actively help defeat VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga this Saturday. Also an assignment in the second leg of the Champions League at SSC Napoli next week is anything but certain.

Lindström's possible absence would be a loss for Eintracht. In the personnel and tactical planning of coach Oliver Glasner, the nimble winger plays a prominent role. He is a regular player, and apart from the first showdown with VfB this Bundesliga season in September last year, Lindström has been in all other 22 games.

"I can sleep very peacefully there"

The Dane is one of those Eintracht professionals who have made a big leap in recent months. In terms of play, Lindström has taken the next step in his development, which also has to do with his increased goal threat. Seven goals in the Bundesliga make him the most successful Frankfurt scorer behind Randal Kolo Muani (eleven goals) and tied with Daichi Kamada.

Lindström has been on board at Eintracht for almost two years. He is contractually bound until mid-2026, which means that he can continue to let off steam to his heart's content at Eintracht. Other players have contracts that expire. Markus Krösche knows that driver Kamada and defender Evan Ndicka can leave Eintracht this summer free of charge.

But this does not cause the sports board a stomach ache. "I can sleep very peacefully there," says the Frankfurt manager and assures: "We are prepared for anything." Eintracht would like to keep both the Japanese and the French, but internally they expect both to be looking for a new sporting and economic challenge.

Krösche's hands are also tied in a third personnel matter. According to the contract, league rivals Borussia Dortmund can rely on the services of Ansgar Knauff again after the end of the loan deal this summer. But does Knauff really want this? One thing is certain: he will hold talks with BVB officials to find out to what extent his training club Borussia offers him promising prospects.

Should the decision mature to stay on the ball in Frankfurt, Eintracht would make a corresponding long-term offer. "All three players have to make important decisions for their careers," says Krösche, who does not believe in setting deadlines and issuing ultimatums. But the manager will not wait forever. "We certainly don't sit there and do nothing," he says. In concrete terms, this means that after players such as Omar Marmoush from league rivals VfL Wolfsburg and Houssem Aouar from Olympique Lyon, the club has already put out feelers.

It was planned that on the day Lindström was injured, an ailing Eintracht professional was missing from training. Due to slight knee problems, Aurélio Buta had preferred to stay away from the hustle and bustle with his teammates and instead work individually on his fitness. He is expected back this Thursday – and also on Saturday, when the South Hessian football coach Bruno Labbadia comes to Frankfurt with his Stuttgart professionals, Buta is a starting eleven candidate for the right side, as he did recently in the 2-2 draw in Wolfsburg.