Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler and midfielder Simon Rolfes will miss the World Cup because of injuries.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said he was told Tuesday that Adler, Germany's No. 1 goalkeeper, needs surgery to repair a broken rib.
The 25-year-old was injured April 17 while playing for Bayer Leverkusen in a Bundesliga match at Stuttgart. Bayer Leverkusen initially had said Adler would not need surgery but he opted Tuesday to have an operation.
"It was the most difficult decision of my life," Adler said. "The pain is so severe that, in the long term, I wouldn't have been able to give my best performances in training or in the matches."
Loew is to announce his 30-man preliminary roster on Thursday.
"Of course, we are very sorry that Rene now has to undergo an operation and so is out of the World Cup," Loew said.
Adler became Germany's probable World Cup starter after Hannover's Robert Enke committed suicide in November. Adler's injury leaves Schalke's Manuel Neuer likely to become Germany's starter, with Werder Bremen's Tim Wiese as his backup.
"I'm sorry for him," Wiese said of Adler. "I don't know whether I'm the No. 1 now, that's for the coach to decide."
Rolfes, a 28-year-old defensive midfielder who is Bayer Leverkusen's captain, has not played since an operation on Jan. 26 to remove damaged cartilage from his right knee.
He had surgery on the same knee in July and then again in October. He played just twice after the second operation: as 74th-minute substitute on Jan. 16 and a 81st-minute sub on Jan. 24.