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Oct 7, 2013

Bender brothers out of Germany squad

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender and his twin brother Sven, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, have been forced to withdraw from the Germany squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Ireland and Sweden through injury.

Twin brothers Lars Bender and Sven Bender will face each other in the Bundesliga on Sunday
Lars and Sven Bender are both out with injuries.

In another Monday setback for Germany, Dortmund's Marco Reus also withdrew from the squad, with an ankle injury having ruled the attacking midfielder out for two weeks.

Lars Bender, 24, suffered a torn thigh muscle in the closing stages of Leverkusen's 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich at the weekend.

His brother, also a midfielder, suffered bad bruising in the 2-0 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach, and the German FA said on Monday that he had been ruled out by muscle stiffness in his lower back.

Coach Joachim Low has called up Hamburg centre-back Heiko Westermann, whose last cap came in the summer friendly defeat to Jurgen Klinsmann's USA team, while Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Goetze has travelled with the squad despite concerns over his fitness.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness had told football magazine kicker: "For all involved, it would be better if he enjoyed two full weeks of training -- then he'd physically be where he should be. But that's my private opinion. I won't intervene."

Goetze has played only a handful of minutes after suffering an ankle injury during the UEFA Supercup in August.

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