MAINZ, Germany (AP) — Germany thrashed Armenia 6-1 in the side’s last friendly match before the World Cup but influential midfielder Marco Reus’ participation in the tournament was left hanging in the balance on Friday.
Reus was helped off the pitch before the break after twisting his left ankle while challenging Artur Yedigaryan for the ball. Reus immediately dropped to the grass and appeared in considerable pain. Team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt shook his head as he assisted the Borussia Dortmund player off the pitch. Reus was taken to the hospital to determine the full extent of the injury.
“He’s getting checked out now and we have to wait for the diagnosis,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “I saw it at halftime and you could see it was swollen. I hope it’s nothing to do with the ligaments. We hope, of course, that he’s not out (of the World Cup).”
Lukas Podolski, who came on for Reus, put on a man-of-the-match performance by setting up three goals and scoring another.
“When he plays like this he’s hard to stop,” Loew said.
Podolski whipped in a cross for Andre Schuerrle to beat Armenia ‘keeper Roman Berezovsky at the near post in the 52nd.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan equalized with a penalty in the 69th, when he sent Dortmund teammate Roman Weidenfeller the wrong way. Another Dortmund player, Kevin Grosskreutz, conceded the spot kick a minute after coming on as a substitute.
Podolski responded with a goal of his own in the 69th after a good assist from Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil and Benedikt Hoewedes made it 3-1 at the second attempt a minute after that.
Podolski then crossed for Miroslav Klose to head his record 69th international goal in the 77th. The veteran striker had shared Germany’s goal-scoring record with Gerd Mueller.
Podolski set up Mario Goetze for the fifth goal in the 82nd, before Klose laid the ball back for Goetze to claim his second in the 89th.
The game, however, was overshadowed by Reus’ injury.
There was better news from Loew’s perspective on Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who returned after recovering from an ankle and knee injury respectively.
Lahm played the first half in midfield alongside Sami Khedira, who made way with half an hour remaining for Schweinsteiger.
Ozil, who hit the post, answered some of his recent critics with an encouraging performance.
“We were fresher after the days off but now we need training in Brazil to get used to the climate,” Loew said.
The German squad leaves for Brazil on Saturday.
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