Germany's Marco Reus will miss the FIFA World Cup, with Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi called up to replace him. The Borussia Dortmund winger tore ankle ligaments in Germany's final warm-up match against Armenia on Friday night.
The German Football Association announced this morning that the 25-year-old faces a lay-off of seven to eight weeks. "It's extremely regrettable both for him and for us," said head coach Joachim Low on Saturday.
"Marco was in top form and he had made a fantastic impression during our training camp and in both our games against Cameroon and Armenia. You could just see how much he was enjoying his football. He had played a key role in our considerations for Brazil."
Instead, Sampdoria defender Mustafi will be boarding the plane with the rest of the Germany squad on Saturday night. "It was not about finding a like-for-like replacement for Marco," Low said. "We have a great deal of quality in that position behind the forwards.
"We've got enough alternatives with Lukas Podolski, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos. That is why we have chosen an extra option for the defence. Shkodran impressed us during our training camp, he's fit and we have faith in him. We know we can rely on him 100 per cent."
Reus will not require surgery, but will spend the next two months receiving treatment in Dortmund in a bid to be fit for the start of the German Bundesliga season at the end of August.
Mustafi has been capped only once, playing the full 90 minutes of Germany's 0-0 draw against Poland last month having impressed in Serie A last season.