Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira has been ruled out for around six months after the German Football Association confirmed he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 1-1 draw with Italy on Friday night.
The blow leaves Khedira’s hopes of featuring in the 2014 World Cup in serious doubt, although Germany’s team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt remains optimistic that he will recover in time to play a role in Brazil next summer.
Khedira was forced off midway through the second half after Ignazio Abate had cancelled out Mats Hummels’ early opener, and scans have since confirmed the worst with a clear tear that will require the defensive midfielder to undergo surgery.
“Sami has to be treated surgically, we hope that he will be healthy again for the start of World Cup,” said Muller-Wohlfahrt.
Germany’s manager Joachim Low was taking charge of his 100th game for the national team, and he admitted that the news is a serious blow for both the player and the team.
“This is a bitter blow for Sami and all of us,” admitted Low.
“He is a great player on and off the pitch, he is always thinking positively and this will help and I am optimistic that he will be back in time for the kick-off of the World Cup.
“We wish him all the best and keep our fingers crossed that the surgery goes well and he can quickly get into rehab.”
The Germans travel to London on Tuesday to face their old rivals England at Wembley, but Low confirmed that star players Manuel Neuer, Phillip Lahm and Mesut Ozil would all be rested for the encounter as he finalises plans for his World Cup squad.
“The game against England is for us the last chance before the World Cup to test different tactics and players,” said Low.
“Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil are key and for me it's more important now to see other players in those key positions just to give a chance to prove themselves against a great team like England.”
Roy Hodgson’s side will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Chile on Friday night, although they face yet another stiff test in the shape of the world’s second best side according to the Fifa rankings.
A number of first team players who sat out the Chile game are expected to start on Tuesday, with Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka , Andros Townsend and Daniel Sturridge likely to come in, while Hodgson will hope that captain Steven Gerrard will recover from a hip injury to play some part in the match.