Germany look set to be without defender Arne Friedrich for their opening two UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers.
Friedrich picked up a back injury while in training with VfL Wolfsburg earlier this month which has since been found to be a slipped disc. The 31-year-old centre-back missed his new team's Bundesliga opener – a 2-1 defeat by FC Bayern München on Friday – and will undergo surgery on Thursday which looks likely to render him unavailable for his country's fixtures against Belgium and Azerbaijan on 3 and 7 September.
"We have tried to get the problem under control with regular treatment," said Friedrich. "Unfortunately, the development of the injury has shown that surgery cannot be prevented; several doctors have confirmed that. I will do everything to be back with the team as soon as possible." Friedrich has 79 international caps, the last of which came in the 3-2 win against Uruguay in this summer's FIFA World Cup third-place play-off.
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