Germany 'keeper Adler out of World Cup
Germany will be going to the World Cup without No. 1 goalkeeper Rene Adler and midfielder Simon Rolfes after both players pulled out injured on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen's Adler told coach Joachim Loew that he would have to have surgery on a rib he broke last month, the German football federation said.
"It was the most difficult decision of my life," Adler said.
The 25-year-old Adler said he might have been medically cleared to go to the World Cup but he would not be fully fit.
"The pain is so severe that, in the long term, I wouldn't have been able to give my best performances in training or in the matches," Adler said.
Loew said he will only say what goalkeepers are going to South Africa when the World Cup squad is announced Thursday.
"Of course we are very sorry that Rene now has to undergo an operation and so is out of the World Cup," Loew said.
Adler had secured the No. 1 spot ahead of Schalke's Manuel Neuer and Tim Wiese of Werder Bremen.
"I'm sorry for him," Wiese said Tuesday. "I don't know whether I'm the No. 1 now - that's for the coach to decide."
Adler's withdrawal followed more bad news for Loew from a Leverkusen teammate. Earlier Tuesday, Rolfes told the coach he won't be back from a knee injury in time for the World Cup.
The 28-year-old defensive midfielder had an operation to remove damaged cartilage in January and has not played since.
Germany breezed through qualifying, winning both games against Russia, its toughest group rival. But it has a tricky draw for the tournament in South Africa, where it will play Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D.