Berlin, RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner has been ruled out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with injury, the Bundesliga club has confirmed in an official statement. The 26-year-old walked off injured in the first half of Leipzig's 4-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
Leipzig paid a high price for the victory as the striker will be sidelined for the remainder of the year after MRI scans have revealed a torn ligament.
"A very tough one to take for me. I will be out for the next few weeks. I will miss the World Cup and will have to support Leipzig and the German national team from the couch unfortunately," said Werner on social media on Thursday.
Werner just returned to Leipzig in the summer after two years with Premier League outfit Chelsea and had penned a deal until 2026. Due to his recent performances in the Bundesliga and under Germany head coach Hansi Flick, Werner was widely expected to be in Germany's squad for Qatar, reports Xinhua.
"This (is) very bitter. I feel very sorry for Timo because he misses the World Cup which he really wanted to play. Timo's injury is a great setback, especially for the team. We all wish him a speedy recovery," said Flick.
The bad news spread like wildfire as many fans had hoped the injury Werner suffered during the UEFA Champions League group encounter against Shakhtar Donetsk wouldn't be too bad.
But his dreams were shattered after a medical examination in Leipzig revealed a torn ligament in his left ankle. Werner had started to gain ground in the national team after returning to Leipzig from Premier League side Chelsea, and had enjoyed a visible upswing in form.
Werner had scored in the last three league encounters, as well as netting in Champions League ties against Celtic and Real Madrid.
Statistics back Flick's regrets, as Werner played in 13 of 15 games for Germany under Flick and scored eight goals. The Germany coach is now forced to change his plans regarding his front-line for the Qatar World Cup.
Established forces such as Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz might replace Werner as the team's striker.