Germany's Deisler ruled out of Cup
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Germany's hopes of adding to their three World Cup titles were dealt a heavy blow on Monday when injury ruled influential midfielder Sebastian Deisler out of this year's finals just two days before the squad fly to Japan.
"Sebastian Deisler will not be available to the German team for the World Cup in South Korea and Japan," the DFB said in a brief statement.
Deisler injured his troublesome right knee after he clashed with Austrian striker Rolf Landerl in Saturday's friendly match.
"I'm terribly disappointed that I won't be at the World Cup, but I can't change that," said Deisler. "I just wish the team success."
A scan on Sunday found that the 22-year-old had not torn any ligaments, but a medical examination in Munich on Monday revealed blood clots that required treatment.
"At first we had a glimmer of hope," coach Rudi Voeller said.
"But now the most important thing to think about is the health of Sebastian rather than the World Cup. I can only wish that he is fit again soon."
Deisler's loss is a bitter blow to Voeller, who had already lost three important players for the World Cup in experienced central defenders Christian Woerns and Jens Nowotny and Mehmet Scholl, who like Deisler was a potential midfielder match winner.
It leaves Leverkusen's Michael Ballack as the only world class player at the heart of the German team.
Voeller is expected to name a replacement for Deisler on Tuesday, when he is also obliged to give his final 23-man squad to FIFA.
Germany are drawn with Cameroon, Ireland and Saudi Arabia in group E of the finals. They take on Saudi Arabia on June 1 in Sapporo in their opening game.
Voeller has set his team the target of qualifying for the knockout phase, a modest goal for a nation that would normally have settled for nothing but the title itself.
Deisler will fly to Vail, Colorado, on Tuesday for treatment to the blood clots in his knee.
Deisler, who agreed a 9.5 million euro ($8.75 million) transfer from Hertha Berlin to Bayern Munich last October, injured his right knee in a Bundesliga game against Hamburg in the same month and underwent surgery in Vail.
He returned for his club Hertha in April, but was soon back on the physio's couch with a thigh strain.
However, he appeared to have made a successful return at the start of May and featured in Germany's three recent warm-ups against Kuwait, Wales and Austria.
The triple world champions were 1-0 up 20 minutes into the final warm-up against Austria when Deisler clashed with Landerl.
Deisler was taken to hospital as Germany went on to win the game 6-2.
In his four-year professional career, Deisler has picked up a catalogue of injuries, mostly muscle and tendon tears in his legs or knees, but has also had problems with his hips and required an operation for a circulatory disorder.
He played a modest 56 times for Hertha in the past three years and would undoubtedly have added to his 19 international caps and three goals for Germany but for his troubles.