Bad news for Marco Reus, Germany, and frankly the whole planet: the Borussia Dortmund star has been ruled out of the World Cup after tearing ankle ligaments in a pre-tournament friendly against Armenia. Reus had been widely expected to be one of the stars of the competition after two extraordinary years in the Bundesliga, and losing his flair will make Brazil a little less fun for all involved.
Coach Joachim Löw was not in a particular happy mood after losing his most incisive attacker:
Both for him and for us it is extremely bitter. Marco was in top form and both in the training camp and in the friendlies against Cameroon and Armenia left an outstanding impression. He had played a central role in our planning for Brazil.
In truth, this isn't as big a blow as it would seem. Reus' abscene is a blow, but thanks to Germany's extraordinary crop of attacking midfielders, the dropoff won't be nearly as severe as if another team lost one of its key players -- they have enough depth that they can replace a world-class player with one of three very good ones, and they'll probably do just that by pushing Arsenal winger Lukas Podolski to left wing in Reus' absence.
Sampdoria centre back Shkodran Mustafi has been called up to the squad as Reus' replacement, which serves to reinforce where Germany are weakest, at least in terms of depth -- straight through the middle of the team.