• World Cup 2022

Germany handed injury blow ahead of World Cup opener

© Ace Football

The four-time world champions have suffered an early setback in their preparations in Qatar.

A knee injury has ruled Leroy Sane out of Germany’s Group E opener against Japan in the World Cup.

The Bayern Munich winger was the only absentee in the team’s final training session. He had only returned to action this month after a torn muscle fiber problem sidelined him temporarily.

“The German national team must be without Leroy Sane in their World Cup opening game against Japan on Wednesday,” read a statement from the German Football Association (DFB).

“The 26-year-old attacking player from champions FC Bayern Munich is unavailable against the four-time Asian champions due to knee problems. The remaining 25 players of the German World Cup squad took part in the final training session in Al-Shamal.

“After lunch, the four-time world champions’ squad head to Qatar’s capital, Doha, where captain Manuel Neuer and company will spend the night before the opening game.”

Since his international debut in November 2015, Sane has won 48 caps for Germany, managing 11 goals and five assists.