Germany forward Klose ruled out of Euro qualifiers

Berlin: Germany forward Miroslav Klose has been ruled out of next month`s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Austria and Azerbaijan after picking up a rib injury in the 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay on Sunday.

Klose`s injury opens the door for Bayern Munich team mate Mario Gomez to lead the attack after the Bundesliga top scorer made the most of a rare start by netting Germany`s opening goal against Uruguay.

Klose, who was again seen as coach Joachim Loew`s starting choice for the qualifiers despite Gomez`s fine performance on Sunday, came on as a substitute in the second half but failed to make an impact.

"He picked up a painful rib injury. Medical tests on Monday showed that the 32-year-old will need to refrain from training in the coming days and so cannot be at our disposal for the qualifiers," the German football federation said in a statement.

Germany, who top their Euro qualifying group with five wins from as many matches, travel to Austria on June 3 before taking on Azerbaijan four days later.

Germany`s second most capped player behind Lothar Matthaeus, Klose, is chasing Gerd Mueller`s all-time scoring record, having netted 61 times in 109 appearances.

Mueller`s record stands at 68 goals from 62 internationals.

Bureau Report