Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been dealt another fitness concern regarding one of his first-team stars after Andre Schurrle pulled out of Germany's upcoming matches against Gibraltar and Spain due to illness.
The 24-year-old will not feature for Joachim Low's side in Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against the British Overseas Territory, or next Tuesday's international friendly against the European champions following his withdrawal from the senior squad.
Schurrle missed Saturday's 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield because he was under the weather, after complaining of flu-like symptoms in the build-up to the Premier League encounter.
The former Bayer Leverkusen man started last week's 1-1 draw with NK Maribor in the Champions League, but was replaced by Diego Costa at half-time of Wednesday's clash in Slovenia, and it's thought that the Blues wide-man has been struggling ever since.
Thankfully for Mourinho, he's blessed with an array of attacking midfield options at Stamford Bridge, which means that Schurrle's absence should not harm his side too much, if he fails to recover in time for Chelsea's next match after the international break against West Bromwich Albion on November 22.
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His withdrawal from the Germany squad is probably just a precautionary measure for a player that was only able to complete a reduced training programme for much of October, and he'll be better served staying in west London where he'll work closely with Chelsea's strength and conditioning coaches in a bid to accelerate his recovery and optimise his overall level of fitness.
"Schurrle suffered a persistent infection in October and could not train regularly."
Unfortunately for Schurrle, his non-appearance will mean that he misses out on the forthcoming trip to Berlin where the world champions will be awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf by Federal President Joachim Gauck, before they attend the premiere of 'Die Mannschaft' in the evening.
Confirming the player's withdrawal, a statement released by the DFB explained: "Schurrle suffered a persistent infection in October and could not train regularly.
"It was agreed with coach Joachim Loew that he stays in London and trains individually to optimise his fitness."
Germany will now have to try and get their qualification campaign back on track without the help of Schurrle, having picked up just four points from their opening three games in Group D.
The match against Gibraltar will surely be eyed as a good opportunity to pick up three points, whilst the Spain match will be another chance for fringe players to prove their credentials in what will undoubtedly be a competitive match.
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