Germany's Sven Bender will miss Borussia Dortmund's UEFA Champions League last 16, first-leg clash at Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday with injury and faces a FIFA World Cup™ fitness race. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder has been diagnosed with an inflammation of the pubic bone and is expected to miss at least ten weeks with the World Cup to start on 12 June, in 15 weeks time.
Germany begin their World Cup campaign in Group G against Portugal in Salvador on 16 June. Bender misses Tuesday's match at St Petersburg's Petrovsky Stadium, as well as the return leg in Dortmund on 19 March, and will also sit out Germany's friendly against Chile in Stuttgart on 5 March.
Bender came off at half-time in Dortmund's shock 3-0 defeat at strugglers Hamburg on Saturday and team doctor Markus Braun has said Bender must take at least six weeks off with a further four weeks of rehabilitation training. The news is a blow to both Germany coach Joachim Low and Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp is already without centre-back Neven Subotic and winger Jakub Blaszczykowski who both miss the rest of the season with torn knee ligaments. Dortmund's Germany defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has not played since August after suffering from a back injury and virus.
Dortmund's centre-back Mats Hummels did not train on Sunday and is struggling with an ankle injury. Likewise, Poland striker Robert Lewandowski missed training with illness, but will fly to Russia.