Group D team news

LONDON - Latest Group D news ahead of the World Cup in South Africa which starts on June 11:

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Injury-prone defender John Mensah suffered another setback on Sunday, forced to leave the pitch after just 17 minutes of the Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United.

Mensah, who has been Ghana's first-choice centre back for the last five years, has suffered with a litany of injuries related to a long-standing back problem. Reports on Sunday said he suffered a hamstring problem.

Mensah missed January's African Nations Cup finals in Angola through injury.


Coach Joachim Low ended months of speculation on Monday when he ruled out in-form striker Kevin Kuranyi for a spot on his World Cup squad.

The decision allows forwards Stefan Kiessling and Cacau to hold out for a spot on the squad.

Kuranyi looked set for a Germany return, following a fine season at Schalke 04 and 18 goals, after he was banned in 2008 for walking out of the squad during a World Cup qualifier.

"It was my dream to play in a World Cup ever since I was a kid, like every footballer. Now that dream has gone for the second time," Kuranyi wrote on his personal website.

He had also missed out on the 2006 tournament after being dropped shortly before the start.


Defender Craig Moore believes Australia's World Cup hopes will benefit from his extended break after his early release from Greek side Kavala.

The much travelled 34-year-old centre-back left the Greek club at the end of March and has yet to find a new team but has quashed fears the lack of game time would be a problem.

"The break I've had was a break I needed, and at the end of the day there's only one person you need to convince and that's (coach) Pim Verbeek.

"I've had more than enough (games) this season," said Moore, who is training with Queensland State League side Brisbane strikers.


Serbia's exiles are hitting top form ahead of the World Cup finals and while coach Radomir Antic will have to ponder how to replace the injured Bosko Jankovic and Ivica Dragutinovic, he will be delighted with others firing on all cylinders.

Zoran Tosic boosted his chances of being picked in Serbia's starting eleven after scoring for Cologne, his fifth in as many game for the Bundesliga side, while Hertha Berlin's Gojko Kacar recovered from a minor knock and played for 70 minutes.

Unsettled striker Nikola Zigic, enduring a tough season at Valencia, came off the bench in the second half to hit a double against Espanyol and Serbia's 2009 player of the year Milos Krasic was on target for CSKA Moscow.

Goalkeeper Andjelko Djuricic will be a new name on Antic's radar after his impressive performances for Uniao Leiria in the Portuguese first division.

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