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FIFA World Cup
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Loew hopeful over Khedira return

Germany boss Joachim Loew says he is hopeful that Sami Khedira will play at this summer’s World Cup but appeared less certain about Ilkay Gundogan.

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Khedira looked set to miss the entire season when he tore knee ligaments on international duty in November, but the 26-year-old is reportedly now nearing a return to training with his club after a quicker-than-expected recovery.

“The ambition he’s shown whenever I’ve spoken to him gives me hope that he’ll make it,” Loew told the media on Monday. “On top of that he’s in unbelievably great shape right now. He doesn’t have any pain in his knee and he can put his weight on it no problem.”

However, Khedira told the DFB website that he was not putting a date on when he would play again.

“I try to look as little as possible towards the future,” Khedira said. “My current plan is to focus on my intensive daily work. That is my main concern, not to announce when I will be back fit again. I believe that is the right way to fully concentrate on the recovery.”

Meanwhile, Loew hopes Gundogan could still be part of his squad in Brazil despite the Borussia Dortmund midfielder’s fitness troubles but appeared sceptical over his chances.

Gundogan sustained a back injury in August and, upon returning to training in the winter break, contracted bronchitis and has not yet been able to resume first-team action.

Loew said: “I still have hope, but I don’t know if that’ll be enough. The feedback that was coming from Ilkay was partially positive, but then he had to cope with a few setbacks. At the moment, everyone is stumped for answer.”

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