Germany have been hit with another major World Cup blow with the news that defender Heiko Westermann has been ruled out of the finals with a broken left foot.
The Schalke defender sustained the injury in Germany's 3-0 friendly win over Hungary in Budapest on Saturday.
He is the fifth player to be ruled out with injury, after Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack sustained an ankle injury, while Joachim Low has also lost designated starting goalkeeper Rene Adler and fellow midfielders Simon Rolfes and Christian Traesch.
The disappointed German boss said: "Heiko would have played an important role at the World Cup.
"He would have been important for us because of his versatility. He was in excellent physical shape in training."
Westermann, 27, who has played 19 games for Germany, would have been an option for Low in central defence or on one of the flanks.
He played as left-back on Saturday but, following the game, he felt increasing pain in his foot overnight and was taken to a hospital where a scan revealed the fracture.
Westermann said he was "totally disappointed" by the news, adding: "That was huge for me, to be at the World Cup.
"I felt really well in training. Now, the only thing I can do is wish the team all the best."
His absence leaves Low with 24 players, with one to be cut before Tuesday's deadline, although it is not known at present if the German coach will call up another defender to replace Westermann.
But, on a more positive note, Sami Khedira will be fit for the finals despite limping out of the action against Hungary.
The Stuttgart man, who is set to replace Ballack at the heart of the midfield, said: "I just felt a twinge in my muscle and that is why I didn't come out for the second half.
"It was purely a precautionary measure."
Marcell Jansen also appeared for the final 30 minutes to play his first game in almost two months and he is confident he will be make the cut.
"I don't think I will be dropped from the squad," he said.
"That's because I don't think it would have made any sense (bringing me), it would have made more sense not to call me up at all."