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Jan 20, 2014

Loew still holds Sami Khedira WC hope

ESPN FC's Roger Bennett talks to USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann about the United States' World Cup opponents.

Germany coach Joachim Loew is refusing to rule out the possibility of Sami Khedira returning from injury in time to play at the World Cup.

Khedira, 26, had to undergo knee surgery in November after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the friendly against Italy.

The Real Madrid midfielder currently faces a battle to recover his fitness before the end of the season, but Loew has not given up hope of seeing him feature in Brazil.

“Three days ago, I talked to Sami on the phone. He feels fine, does light training on the treadmill, and has not suffered any setbacks,” Loew told Bild. “All is fine, Sami is on schedule.”

The Germany boss has had to deal with a number of injury blows this season. Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has been struggling with ankle problems throughout the campaign, while Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has not played since August due to a back injury.

“There is no deadline. But naturally we’ll have to look at how the players are in form and how fit they are,” Loew said. “To call up a player for the World Cup, who has not played a competitive game, that would be difficult. I want every player to cover the full work load during our preparation for the Word Cup.”

Should Khedira not return to fitness in time for the World Cup, Loew is considering moving his captain Philipp Lahm into the holding midfield role.

“It’s always a question of alternatives,” Loew said. “Philipp has to and will know where I’ll play him before the World Cup.”

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