Kroos, Ter Stegen to miss Germany qualifiers
Toni Kroos and Marc-Andre ter Stegen have been left out of the Germany squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia due to injuries.
Midfielder Kroos, who signed a new four-year contract at Real Madrid on Monday, will be absent due to a muscular issue, while Ter Stegen is struggling with a knee problem that has made him a doubt for Barcelona's Copa del Rey final against Valencia on Saturday.
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno consequently returns to the fold to provide competition for captain Manuel Neuer, whose spot will be determined by his recovery from the calf injury that curtailed his season in April.
Jonas Hector and Julian Draxler have also been recalled by Joachim Low.
Thilo Kehrer, Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane and Timo Werner will not take part in the European Under-21 Championship despite being eligible.
@mterstegen1 is missing due to a knee problem, while @ToniKroos is also absent after picking up a muscle injury. Captain @Manuel_Neuer has been called up provisionally - the next few days will decide if he's fit enough after his calf injury. #DieMannschaft | #BLRGER | #GERESTpic.twitter.com/TiSRpJSSuv— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) May 22, 2019
However, Jonathan Tah and Lukas Klostermann are available to link up with Stefan Kuntz's team for the tournament after the games against Belarus and Estonia on June 8 and 11 respectively.
Germany director Oliver Bierhoff said: "The challenge for Joachim Low and Stefan Kuntz is to find the right balance. On the one hand, we want to present competitive teams who can win their games.
"On the other hand, the coaches must always keep an eye on the individual situation and the best possible development of individuals. This only succeeds with close work.
"The ultimate goal is to return German football to a world-class level."
Germany squad in full:
Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt); Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint-Germain), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen); Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).