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German star striker Birgit Prinz set to play World Cup despite injury

Hearts raced in the Germany camp two weeks ahead of the Women's World Cup after star striker Birgit Prinz was forced to leave the training ground with a right ankle injury. But the latest physio reports are positive.

Birgit Prinz

Prinz has scored over 120 goals for the national team

Despite an alarming injury, Germany women's football star Birgit Prinz will still play in the World Cup, the German Football Association announced Monday.

The captain and star player of Germany's women's soccer team gave the defending world champions a scare when she limped off the field after an awkward training-ground challenge.

The 33-year-old striker sprained her right ankle just two weeks ahead of Germany's Women's World Cup opener against Canada on June 26.

"We are all very relieved," said teammate Kim Kuhlig. "Fortunately, nothing awful happened. The injury is manageable."

However, Prinz is not expected to appear on the pitch this Thursday during Germany's friendly match against Norway.

Coach Silvia Neid said she wasn't willing to take any risks with the team's star striker ahead of the World Cup.

"We at least want to make it to the semi-final - that would be great. But our big dream is to become world champions for a third time in a row," Neid said.

Germany's linchpin

Prinz's loss would have been a major blow for the Germans in their bid to win a third-straight Women's World Cup.

On Monday, the Germany captain had attempted to continue training following the challenge, but was forced to the sidelines after an hour, and was seen to be visibly frustrated as team doctors inspected her right ankle.

The prolific 1.FFC Frankfurt striker is the all-time leading Women's World Cup goal-scorer with 14 goals. She has made over 200 appearances for the national senior team and is the linchpin in Germany's attack.

As well as Norway, Germany will play against Nigeria and France in the group stages. Neid's players are the runaway favorites to win the tournament on home soil.

Author: Darren Mara, David Levitz (dpa, SID)
Editor: Mark Hallam

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