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Ankle injury rules Timo Werner out of 2022 World Cup

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner is out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar through an injury his club has announced.

The 26-year-old went off after 19 minutes in Leipzig’s 4-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

“Timo Werner suffered an ankle injury last night in the win over Shakhtar Donetsk,” the Bundesliga club announced in a statement.

“Scans today in Leipzig showed that he has unfortunately torn the syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle and will therefore be out for the rest of 2022.”

Werner is a big miss for Die Mannschaft. Despite criticisms about his overall play, he has netted 24 goals in 55 appearances for Germany. He was part of the German squad at the 2018 World Cup and 2020 European Championships.

The former Chelsea striker is first in goals, second in minutes played and third in assists during Hansi Flick’s Germany tenure. He contributed five goals to help Germany qualify for the tournament.

“This news is very bitter,” said Flick. “I am very sorry for Timo personally because he is missing out on the World Cup, which he really wanted to play.

“But Timo’s absence is a great loss, especially for the team. We have to have an excellent striker with a strong goal rate in the national jersey, and we will also be without a real team player.

“First of all, we all wish that Timo gets fit again quickly.”

Werner returned to Leipzig this summer after a poor two-year spell in London. The Stuttgart academy player has improved since returning to Germany in a €30 million deal last summer.

He has bagged nine goals and four assists in all competitions for Leipzig in 16 appearances. While Germany will miss his off-the-ball runs, they have some top-level attackers to fill the void.

Flick can count on Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala, Karim Adeyemi, Leroy Sane and Julian Brandt to plug the hole.

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