The Germany men’s national team camp has received a big blow little more than a day before its World Cup opening match against Japan. Per reports, Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sané is out of training dealing with knee issues. Sportswriter Jonathan Harding noted the absence while in attendance at training:
Matchday -1 for Germany. Leroy Sané not here - out with knee problems we’re told. Slightly concerning for tomorrow as he would have started. Makes for a curious choice in the XI. Maybe opens the door for a Thomas Müller start? pic.twitter.com/WDoGQyl13x— Jonathan Harding (@JonBloggs66) November 22, 2022
Bild’s Heiko Niedderer tweeted that the Bayern Munich winger’s participation in the opener is totally ruled out.
Where do Germany go without Sané? The immediate option to replace him on the right wing might be Thomas Müller, except he’s been dealing with ailments for some time also and might not be ready to go from the start. Serge Gnabry, Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann, and Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt are also options.
And while Jamal Musiala and Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz might have preferred spots at the ten and the nine, respectively, some reshuffling along the entire front might be in order in Sané’s absence.
This is a big blow for a player who has only recently returned from injury himself, and a bitter pill to swallow for Hansi Flick’s side so close to the start of the campaign. Let’s hope it’s not for too long — and now it’s next man up for Germany.
In case you weren't pessimistic enough already, in the latest episode of our podcast we talked about why Germany could be in trouble this World Cup, and that was BEFORE Sané's injury. Listen to it below or on Spotify.