German midfielder Lars Bender has been ruled out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup after suffering a thigh injury. The 25 year old is the second to be ruled out Joachim Low’s squad after twin brother Sven Bender failed to make the squad due to injury. Further concerns loom over star striker Miroslav Close and Bayern Munich stars Philip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer who are yet to arrive at Germany’s training camp in Italy after suffering knocks in the final stages of the season.
Bender, who has scored 4 goals in 17 appearances for the German national team, has been ruled after suffering a combined muscle and tendon injury in his right thigh during training. German coach Joachim Low confirmed his absence saying “When a player is ruled out so close before a tournament then it is very disappointing for everyone. I feel personally very sorry for Lars because I know how much he wanted to be in Brazil.”
His injury leaves the door open for youngster Christoph Kramer to travel to Brazil after regulars Mario Gomez and Ikkay Gundagoan not chosen in the provisional squad after failing to recover from long term injuries.