Ozil back in Germany squad

BERLIN - Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil has returned to the Germany squad ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier against Austria next week after missing the friendly 3-2 win over Brazil earlier in August.

Ozil, who had not been called up for that match to give the 22-year-old some rest following a string of club commitments, will return as Germany look to seal their ticket for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine next year.

"Our focus is now exclusively on the Austria match," said coach Joachim Low, with Germany top of Group A on 21 points following seven wins from seven games. Victory against Austria would see them through with two games to spare.

"Obviously our starting position is very good but we are not through yet. So we want to make sure we are through with a win against Austria so as to start planning for the Euros."

Germany also play Poland in a friendly on September 6.

Ozil, however, will be without his Real team-mate Sami Khedira, who is still recovering from an adductor muscle injury and was ruled out on Friday after talks between team doctors and Real Madrid officials, the German federation said.

Khedira also missed the Brazil game.

Defender Per Mertesacker is making a comeback after playing his last international back in March and having recovered after a long injury break.

"I am glad that Per is back fit and can be with us," said Low of the Werder Bremen central defender, who has won 75 caps.

The only newcomer is goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, who replaces injured Rene Adler as the third choice behind Manuel Neuer and Tim Wiese.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96);

Defenders: Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng (all Bayern Munich), Marcel Schmelzer, Mats Hummels (all Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke 04), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Christian Trasch (VfL Wolfsburg);

Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller (all Bayern Munich), Sven Bender, Mario Gotze (all Borussia Dortmund), Simon Rolfes, Andre Schuerrle (all Bayer Leverkusen), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Marco Reus (Borussia Monchengladbach);

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).


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