Miroslav Klose sidelined with thigh injury

Milan: Veteran Lazio striker Miroslav Klose is expected to be sidelined for several weeks after being diagnosed with a left thigh muscle injury, according to the Serie A club's doctor.

Klose hobbled off at half-time during Lazio's 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League play-off. Replacement Keita Balde scored the winning goal for the Biancocelesti in midweek, but they could now be without the 37-year-old German Klose for up to four games, according to Stefano Salvatori.

"The diagnosis went as we expected," Salvatori told Lazio Style Radio. "He will be sidelined for the next few games, but after the (early September) international break we'll see how he is." Klose's injury should carve open opportunities for Keita, who had threatened to quit the club recently due to a lack of opportunities.

It should also allow fellow striker Filip Djordjevic to step in, although the Serbian is on his way back from injury and is unlikely to feature when Lazio open their Serie A campaign at home to promoted Bologna on Saturday. Lazio finished third in Serie A last season, forcing Stefano Pioli's men into the play-offs for this season's Champions League.

The capital club travel to Leverkusen for the second leg of the play-off on August 26 as they bid to join fellow Italian sides Juventus and Roma in the group stage of Europe's premier club competition for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

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