Injury forces Bender out of qualifiers
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Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender had to pull out of Germany's three upcoming fixtures, which includes two UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers, due to a knee injury, the German Football Federation said.

The 22-year-old had been hoping to press his claims for a regular place on the squad after winning just one cap to date, but had surgery on the injury today, which forced him to miss the German champions final league match.

German coach Joachim Loew is already without Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, while Sami Khedira of Real Madrid is just coming back from injury problems of his own. Loew may now elect to call up Bender's twin brother Lars of Bayer Leverkusen.

Germany face Uruguay in a friendly on Sunday - a repeat of their FIFA World Cup™ semi-final last year - before meeting Austria on 3 June and then Azerbaijan in EURO 2012 qualifiers. They already have one foot in the finals, though, after having won all five of their opening Group A encounters.