Germany's Bender to miss Austria qualifier
Germany midfielder Lars Bender is out of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Austria in Munich with a pelvis injury, the German Football Federation (DFB) has confirmed.
The 24-year-old Bayer Leverkusen star will also miss Tuesday's qualifier away to Faroe Islands having suffered the injury for his club last weekend in their 2-0 league defeat at Schalke.
"It's not a serious injury, but it is painful," assistant coach Hansi Flick said on Thursday with Germany five points clear at the top of their qualifying group.
"We assume he will be able to play in Leverkusen's next match."
Bender will remain in Munich until Saturday to be treated by the DFB's medical staff, said Flick.
With Germany's vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger out with an ankle injury, either Bender's twin brother Sven or Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos will partner Real Madrid's Sami Khedira in the defensive midfield.
"Toni is always a good option," said Flick ahead of the match at Munich's Allianz Arena.
"We wanted to give ourselves lots of alternatives as this is a prestigious match, but the options are dwindling."
Captain Philipp Lahm will celebrate his 100th appearance for Germany, while veteran striker Miroslav Klose remains just one goal short of Gerd Mueller's all-time record of 68 in 62 matches for West Germany up until 1974.