Germany calls up defender Tah to replace injured Ruediger
EVIAN-LES-BAINS: Germany coach Joachim Loew has called up Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah to replace the injured Antonio Ruediger at the European Championship.
The 20-year-old Tah, who made his only Germany appearance on March 26 in the 3-2 friendly loss to England in Berlin, was not included in Loew's preliminary list of 27 players for the tournament in France, but he was given the nod Wednesday after Ruediger tore a cruciate ligament in his right knee in training on Tuesday.
Tah, who played 29 league games for Leverkusen in his breakthrough season, missed the side's last games because of food poisoning.
"I sent Jonathan an SMS and wished him luck," Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller told the Koelner Express newspaper.
The 23-year-old Ruediger is expected to miss about six months after sustaining the injury in a tussle with Thomas Mueller. The Roma defender had been first choice to fill in for Mats Hummels, who has been struggling with a calf injury and is unlikely to feature in any of the group games.
Only 15 outfield players took part in team training Wednesday at the Camille Fournier Stadium in Evian-les-Bains, along with the three goalkeepers.
Loew said Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich has a cold and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl has a slight muscle strain in his calf. Hummels underwent an individual training program but worked with the ball for the first time.
Lukas Podolski, who was excused Tuesday because of the birth of his daughter, was expected back in Evian on Wednesday evening.
Germany opens its campaign against Ukraine in Lille on Sunday. Poland and Northern Ireland are also in Group C.