Germany central defender Mats Hummels has recovered from a neck injury and will be fit for their last World Cup Group F game against South Korea on Wednesday but midfielder Sebastian Rudy is doubtful.
Hummels, who missed their last-gasp 2-1 victory over Sweden, returned to training on Monday. Rudy broke his nose in that game and underwent minor surgery on Sunday.
“Sebi (Rudy) was operated on for the broken nose. He will undergo further checks this afternoon and we will see. We must be prepared that he will not be likely to play,” assistant manager Marcus Sorg revealed.
Rudy started against Sweden after muscling his way past out-of-form World Cup winner Sami Khedira. Sorg said team doctors would also look into the possibility of him playing with a face mask for the game in Kazan.
“If there is the possibility of playing with a mask, without risk to his health, then it is something that could be considered.”
The world champions must win their final group game by at least two goals to make sure of a spot in the second round after their shock 1-0 opening loss to Mexico.
They are level on three points with Sweden with exactly the same goal difference. Mexico are top on six.
“We hope this (victory against Sweden) was the ignition that will give us confidence and allow us to play more freely, use our chances better,” said Marco Reus, who scored the equaliser against the Swedes.
“We know that some past world champions have not survived the group stage at their next World Cup but we will do everything so that it does not happen to us,” the winger, playing in his first World Cup, said.
“It will be a very difficult game and there will be a lot of counter-attacks from South Korea… they also have a tight defence. We have to do our duty. We have to win against the Koreans and not just 1-0.”