Germany midfielder Sebastian Deisler will miss the World Cup after being ruled out of action with a knee injury.
Deisler sustained the injury to his right knee in a training ground collision with Bayern Munich team-mate Owen Hargreaves last week and scans in the United States revealed the extent of the damage to his knee.
“This is a shock for us and a tragedy for him,” said assistant Germany coach Joachim Low. “He’s such an important player for us.”
Deisler’s career has been blighted by injuries and he has undergone five operations on his right knee in the past eight years. He missed the 2002 World Cup with a injury to the same knee.
Deisler, now 26, was hailed as the future of German football when he burst on to the scene as a teenager with Borussia Monchengladbach. But the pressure to live up to expectations, coupled with his injuries, caused a mental breakdown in 2003.
He returned last year and was in impressive form before this latest injury setback.