Ozil ‘okay’ for World Cup

The German Football Federation doesn’t believe that Mesut Ozil’s participation in the 2018 World Cup is under threat, amid concerns over his knee injury.

The 29-year-old midfielder picked up the knock in Germany’s 2-1 defeat to Austria on Saturday and has been unable to take part in full training this week.

Ozil did manage some running drills with the rest of Joachim Low’s squad on Thursday, but he won’t be risked for their final World Cup warm-up match against Saudi Arabia on Friday as a precaution.

The national team’s director, Oliver Bierhoff, expects the Arsenal star to be ready for action when the world champions open their campaign against Mexico in Moscow on June 17.

“It’s nothing dramatic, we just don’t want to take any risks and he was able to sprint in training,” Bierhoff said. “I assume he will be okay for the World Cup.”

Ozil added on Twitter: “I didn’t take part in final team training today, but some running exercises were possible again.”

Low is set to name a strong line-up for the clash against the Green Falcons in Leverkusen, with Julian Draxler expected to come in for Ozil, while Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller will return to the fold.