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German defender Westermann misses Cup with broken foot

| 31.05.2010

Centre back Heiko Westermann has broken a foot against Hungary in Germany’s penultimate warm-up.

Germany added its name to a lengthening list of countries for whom the build up to the tournament has been less than ideal this weekend, when versatile defensive cover Heiko Westermann was forced to pull out of the 2010 Football World Cup.

Westermann, who plays for Schalke and is capable of playing in the centre of defence or at full back, was unaware of the problem during Germany’s 3-0 victory over Hungary in Budapest, but after a painful night a scan revealed the break. It is not known if the broken bone is the dreaded metatarsal.

Westermann joins a distinguished list of German absentees from the tournament, most notably Michael Ballack and first choice keeper Rene Adler. Midfielders Simon Rolfes and Christian Traesch will also be following the event from their living rooms.

Besides their unfortunate self-trimming squad, the Germans’ bigger concern centres around where their goals are going to come from. Low has stuck with his experienced forwards Miroslav Klose and Lucas Podolski, but Klose couldn’t even get into the Bayern starting line up for the Champions League final, and has only scored three goals all season. Podolski, notoriously lazy, has two.

Germany have one last warm up against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday, and kick off in Group D against Australia on June 13.

Will the Germans conform to their tournament stereotype and reach the final in spite of these setbacks? Germany are 10/1 to lose the final, 16/1 to win it.



Ed Needham