On Thursday, German football club RB Leipzig announced that its striker Timo Werner has been ruled out of the impending World Cup in Qatar with an ankle injury. Werner hobbled off early in Leipzig’s 4-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday. “Scans today in Leipzig showed that he has sadly torn the syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle and will therefore be out for the rest of 2022,” the Bundesliga team said in a statement. The 26-year-old has scored 24 goals in 55 international appearances for Germany and netted five times during qualifying.
“This news is very bitter,” said Germany coach Hansi Flick. “I’m very sorry for Timo personally because he’s missing out on the World Cup, which he wanted to play. “But Timo’s absence is a great loss, especially for the team. We have to have an excellent striker with a strong goal rate in the national jersey and we’ll also be without a real team player. “First of all, we all wish that Timo gets fit again quickly.”
Werner rejoined Leipzig from Premier League giants Chelsea in the close season and has contributed nine goals already in all competitions this campaign. Germany starts off their bid for a record-equalling fifth World Cup against Japan on November 23 in Al Rayyan, before further Group E matches against Spain and Costa Rica.
Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane is likewise now sidelined with a knee injury, with Werner’s absence adding to Flick’s problems upfront. Borussia Dortmund youngster Karim Adeyemi and in-form Werder Bremen striker Niclas Fuellkrug could be potential replacements for Werner in the team. Germany captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has not played since October 8 due to a shoulder injury and is also uncertainty about the global showpiece.
Coach Flick will name German’s 26-man squad for the World Cup on November 16.