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May 23, 2014

Injured Lars Bender to miss World Cup

Germany have suffered another injury blow as Lars Bender has been ruled out of the World Cup with a thigh problem, the DFB announced on Friday.

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The 25-year-old Bayer Leverkusen player sustained the injury during training on Thursday and will now miss the tournament in Brazil, handing head coach Joachim Loew more selection problems in midfield.

"It is disappointing for everyone when a player suffers an injury that close to the tournament. I am really sorry for Lars," Loew said on the official DFB website.

"I know he absolutely wanted to make it to Brazil. He is a role model on and off the pitch."

Bender, who has been capped 17 times by Die Mannschaft, can play in holding midfield, but also played at right-back during the 2012 European Championships.

The Bayer Leverkusen player's versatility would have been useful for Joachim Loew, who already has fitness concerns for the main figures in holding midfield.

Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is in Italy for Germany's training camp, but has been limited to light work on the training pitch due to knee problems.

Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira will join Loew and his men next week, but the former Stuttgart player has only just returned to action following an ACL tear in November.

Borussia Dortmund duo Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender both failed to make the Germany squad with persistent injury problems.

Still, Loew ruled out calling up another player to his squad for the tournament in Brazil, which former Germany captain Michael Ballack believes the manager needs to win in order to keep his job.

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