Germany midfielder Lars Bender has been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup with a thigh injury, another blow to coach Joachim Löw's plans.
Two days after Germany convened in South Tyrol, the Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder became the latest injury victim and has pulled out of the 27-man provisional squad. The 25-year-old, who has scored four times in 17 international appearances, suffered a "combined muscle and tendon injury in his right thigh" in training on Thursday evening and has left the training camp.
"When a player is ruled out so close to a tournament it is very disappointing for everyone," Löw said of a player whose twin brother, Sven, is already ruled out through injury. "I feel very sorry for Lars on a personal level – I know that he was desperate to be there in Brazil."
Löw has opted against calling up a replacement, despite a host of other personnel problems. Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose are all carrying knocks, while Real Madrid CF's Sami Khedira has only made two appearances this year after recovering from torn knee ligaments. Germany kick off their campaign against Portugal on 16 June.
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