Absentees increasing for Germany ahead of friendly

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BERLIN (AP) -Bayern Munich players Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Jerome Boateng have all pulled out of Germany's squad to face the Netherlands in Wednesday's friendly in Amsterdam.

Borussia Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer was also ruled out Sunday, when the German Football Federation said the player had a recurrence of a metatarsal injury in his right foot. The same injury forced Schmelzer out of Germany's 4-4 draw with Sweden in a World Cup qualifier last month.

Midfielders Schweinsteiger and Kroos dropped out due to viral and gastrointestinal infections, respectively, their club said.

Boateng is out because of a left groin injury sustained in Saturday's 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes confirmed that Boateng tore a muscle and that the 24-year-old player "will definitely be out for two or three weeks."

But Thomas Mueller was to join the rest of the squad despite having a cold.

Schweinsteiger has 97 appearances for Germany, considerably more than Kroos (34), Boateng (28) and Schmelzer (9).

Germany coach Joachim Loew did not immediately call up any replacements.

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