BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund's forward Marco Reus on Monday became the third player to drop out of Germany's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Ireland and Sweden.
Reus has a left-ankle injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for two weeks, the German Football Federation (DFB) said. Earlier, twin brothers Lars and Sven Bender also dropped out because of injuries and Germany coach Joachim Loew called up Hamburger SV defender Heiko Westermann.
Sven Bender, who also plays for Dortmund, withdrew after sustaining a muscle strain in his groin and lower back area during his side's 2-0 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Dortmund team doctor Markus Braun examined the player Monday and suggested Bender will be sidelined for 10 days, the club said on its website. Lars Bender, who plays for Bayer Leverkusen, suffered a muscle tear in his right thigh during his side's 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Westermann has played 26 games for Germany. His last appearance was in a friendly against the United States on June 2. Germany would secure qualification for next year's World Cup in Brazil with a win against Ireland in Cologne on Friday, while even a draw virtually assures progress before the game against second-place Sweden in Stockholm four days later.
Germany leads group C by five points and enjoys a comfortably superior goal difference ahead of the final two games.