Chickenpox will deprive Greece of its highly-rated central defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos for its crucial games against Bosnia and Slovakia this month, while national coach Fernando Santos has reinstated skipper Giorgos Karagounis to his squad now that the Fulham midfielder has found a club to play at.
Schalke announced on Friday that its star defender Papadopoulos, who was set to partner Sokratis Papastathopoulos for both of Greece’s games at the center of the defense, will have to miss the next two weeks’ action.
He has been kept away from the other members of the Bundesliga team to prevent his team mates becoming infected.
That means Santos will will likely replace him with Fortuna Duesseldorf’s Stelios Malezas.
Besides bringing back Karagounis, Santos has held on to Costas Katsouranis, who is about to have his contract with Panathinaikos formally terminated, and surprisingly brought in young goalkeeper Costas Lambrou of Feyenoord. Keeper Alexandros Tzorvas and midfielders Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Charis Mavrias have been omitted.
The full squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Panathinaikos), Panayiotis Glikos (PAOK), Costas Lambrou (Feyenoord)
Defenders: Loukas Vyntra, Nikos Spyropoulos (both Panathinaikos), Vasilis Torosidis, Dimitris Siovas, Yiannis Maniatis, Jose Holebas (all Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen), Stelios Malezas (Fortuna Duesseldorf)
Midfielders: Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Costas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Elini Dimoutsos (Atromitos), Alexandros Tziolis (APOEL), Sotiris Ninis (Parma), Costas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern)
Forwards: Stefanos Athanasiadis, Dimitris Salpingidis (both PAOK), Costas Mitroglou (Olympiakos), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic), Fanis Gekas (Levante)
Tickets to the home game at the Karaiskakis Stadium on October 12 went on sale on Friday. Four days later Greece visits Slovakia.