Mainz (Germany): Germany suffered a major blow ahead of the World Cup finals on Saturday as an ankle injury ruled midfielder Marco Reus out of the tournament, the German Federation announced.
The 25-year-old Borussia Dortmund star, known as ‘Rolls Reus’ and scorer of seven goals in 21 appearances for Germany, suffered a slight tear to ankle ligaments shortly before half-time in Friday’s 6-1 friendly win over Armenia.
He was helped off the pitch by two of the medical staff and taken to hospital in Mainz where scans revealed the damage. “Marco is obviously very disappointed to miss the World Cup and also for us it is a real blow,” said German coach Joachim Loew.
“When we learnt last night (Friday) that the injury was to the ligament we knew his chances of going to the World Cup were over.”
Loew called up the 22-year-old central defender Shkodran Mustafi, capped just once and who plays for Serie A side Sampdoria.
Reus’ withdrawal is a serious blow to Loew as he had been in superb form towards the end of the season, scoring eight goals and creating five in the last nine games of the Bundesliga season.
He also scored a double against eventual Champions League winners Real Madrid in their quarter-final second leg match. Reus is the latest big star to see his World Cup hopes dashed because of injury.
Colombia’s talismanic striker Radamel Falcao, France winger Franck Ribery and Italian midfielder and AC Milan skipper Riccardo Montolivo have all been ruled out in the past week.
Mustafi, who had a spell at EPL side Everton before joining Sampdoria, had been left out of the original 23-man squad named by Loew last Monday following a 2-2 draw in the friendly with Cameroon.
“We are taking someone (Mustafi) who was with us at the training camp (in Italy) with us and who is into the rhythm of the squad,” said Loew.
“As regards filling Reus’s position on the pitch we are blessed with numbers as we have (Thomas) Mueller, (Mario) Goetze, (Lukas) Podolski, (Andre) Schuerrle and (Julian) Draxler. We felt that the defence is more likely to pick up suspensions through yellow and red cards so hence we opted for Mustafi.”
The German squad fly out to Brazil later on Saturday. They have been drawn in a tough group, Group G, which sees them begin their campaign on June 16 against Portugal.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Roman Weidenfeller, Ron-Robert Zieler; Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz, Benedikt Hoewedes, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi; Midfielders: Julian Draxler, Sami Khedira, Christoph Kramer, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Forwards: Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Mueller, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze
Players ruled out with injuries so far
Colombia: Radamel Falcao (knee injury)
France: Franck Ribery (back injury); Clement Grenier (thigh)
Germany: Marco Reus - (ankle injury)
Ghana: Jerry Akamink (broken ankle)
Italy: Riccardo Monto-livo (broken leg)
Mexico: Luis Montes (broken leg)