Wolfsburg defender Pongracic still dealing with effects of Covid-19
Wolfsburg defender Marin Pongracic still dealing with effects of Covid-19 weeks after being infected as he’s substituted at half time against Union Berlin due to breathing problems
- Wolfsburg’s Marin Pongracic is still dealing with the effects of Covid-19
- Pongracic had to be taken off during Wolfsburg’s draw against Union Berlin
- Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner took Pongracic off due to breathing problems
Wolfsburg defender Marin Pongracic is still dealing with the effects of COVID-19 weeks after his infection as he had to be taken off during the weekend’s Bundesliga game.
Pongracic, who was infected with the coronavirus while on international duty with Croatia in November, was substituted at half time in Wolfsburg’s 2-2 draw at Union Berlin on Saturday.
Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner said he took the 23-year-old defender off because he had breathing problems from early on in Union’s Stadion an der Alten Forsterei.
Wolfsburg defender Marin Pongracic (right) had to be taken off at half time against Union Berlin as he is still struggling with the effects of Covid-19
‘Marin had a lot of problems with the air,’ Glasner said. ‘He had both his arms on his knees several times during the first half, like you’d normally have at the end of a period of extra time. With him it was first like that after 15 minutes.’
Pongracic had already shown a lack of fitness in Wolfsburg’s previous three games. He was taken off early in each.
The Croat was at fault for Union’s equalizer in the 29th minute when his pass for teammate Xaver Schlager was intercepted by Marcus Ingvartsen.
Ingvartsen found Sheraldo Becker free on the right to shoot inside the right post and cancel Renato Steffen’s 10th-minute opener for the visitors.
‘He is not 100 per cent fit,’ Glasner said of Pongracic. ‘None of us know the long-term effects of the infection.’
Wolfsburg manager Oliver Glasner said he took Pongracic off due to his breathing problems
Wolfsburg has been particularly hard hit with several coronavirus infections. Pongracic’s defensive colleague Maxence Lacroix was missing against Union following his COVID-19 infection, while teammates Steffen, Kevin Mbabu, Josip Brekalo, Pavao Pervan, Maximilian Arnold and Jerome Roussillon all tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
Steffen said he is still suffering side effects including a loss of taste weeks after his infection.
‘Every now and then you feel weak or have days in which it is more difficult to breathe,’ Steffen said in a podcast for radio station NDR2.
Wolfsburg’s Renato Steffen (right) says that he is still suffering side effects including a loss of taste weeks after his infection
Arnold was at fault for Union’s second goal. The Wolfsburg midfielder was sent off for bringing down Taiwo Awoniyi.
Though the initial penalty decision was taken back after a VAR consultation, Union’s Robert Andrich swept the free kick inside the top left corner in the 52nd.
Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst, who was last month forced to apologise for appearing to make light of the coronavirus, equalised with a penalty in the 66th.
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