MUNICH (AP)Germany faces more injury concerns ahead of the World Cup with Bayern Munich set to rest Thomas Muller and Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus having more issues with his ankle.
Various injuries and illnesses have restricted Muller to only two substitute appearances since the start of last month. Coach Julian Nagelsmann said Monday that the 33-year-old Muller is recovering but will be rested for games against Werder Bremen on Tuesday and Schalke on Saturday to avoid risking a further injury setback.
”I’d like to give him some rest before the World Cup to let the structure heal fully,” Nagelsmann said. ”Since we’ve got all the attacking players healthy now and have a lot of choice, it’s not the sort of game where you need to play through the pain or take a risk.”
Germany coach Hansi Flick is due to announce his squad Thursday.
Nagelsmann also said Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt is likely to return for the Schalke game Saturday after a knee problem, while Croatia defender Josip Stanisic is set to miss both games this week with tonsillitis.
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic said Reus had to cut training short Sunday because of ankle pain but that on Monday ”it didn’t look quite so bad.” Reus has barely played for Dortmund in the last five weeks with ankle issues but returned to play 23 minutes off the bench in a 3-0 win over Bochum on Saturday.
Dortmund plays Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
Germany starts its World Cup campaign Nov. 23 against Japan before further group stage games against Spain and Costa Rica. One player sure to be missing out is Leipzig forward Timo Werner, who tore an ankle ligament last week. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was a concern after missing much of October with shoulder problems, but he returned to action for Bayern on Saturday in a 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin.
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