GERMANY COACH Joachim Loew today called up Hanover defender Heiko Westermann to replace injured Mats Hummels in his squad for 2014 World Cup qualifiers against the Ireland and Sweden.
Borussia Dortmund’s Hummels is nursing a hip injury and joins an injury list that also includes his club partner Ilkay Gundogan and Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.
Westermann, 29, returns to the national side for the first time since playing a friendly against Sweden in November 2010.
Captain Philipp Lahm is also doubtful with a leg injury, and Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller joined the squad Monday with an eye injury picked up during a 2-0 win over Hoffenheim at the weekend.
“We’ll see who will fill these positions,” said Loew, four days before the match in Dublin and the visit of Sweden to Berlin on 16 October.
Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker and Bayern’s Holger Badstuber are expected to feature in central defence while Bayern’s Jerome Boateng could play back right in the case that Lahm proves unfit. Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is back in the national fray for the first time since Euro 2012 after recovering from injury.
The 28-year-old missed the friendly defeat to Argentina in August, then the qualifier wins over Faroe Islands and Austria, with an ankle injury.
Earlier, Giovanni Trapattoni was forced to make some enforced call-ups of his own ahead of Friday’s showdown in D4.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Moenchengladbach)
Defenders: Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Per Mertesacker (FC Arsenal/ENG), Heiko Westermann (Hanover)
Midfielders: Mario Goetze, Marco Reus (Dortmund), Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/ESP), Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schuerrle (Leverkusen)
Striker: Miroslav Klose (AS Rome/ITA)