BERLIN Midfielder Ilkay Guendogan was named in the Germany squad on Friday for next month's World Cup qualifiers after almost a year out of the side due to injury problems.
The 25-year-old Manchester City player, who also missed the 2014 World Cup through injury, last played for Germany in a friendly in Paris in November.
Forward Mario Gomez and central defender Jerome Boateng were also recalled to the squad having recovered from injuries picked up at Euro 2016.
Midfielder Sebastian Rudy was also included after the 26-year-old narrowly missed the cut for the Euro 2016 squad.
Germany, who won their qualifying Group C opener against Norway 3-0 this month, take on the Czech Republic in Hamburg on Oct. 8 before hosting Northern Ireland in Hanover three days later.
"Both these home games are extremely important for us," said coach Joachim Loew. "After having started well against Norway we want to also win these two games in order to take control of the group.
"The players, belonging to our core, have rediscovered their playing rhythm in recent weeks both on club level and internationally and we will count on those players. They know what is expected at this stage."
Azerbaijan are second in the group, also on three points. The Czechs are on one along with Northern Ireland. San Marino and Norway have yet to earn a point.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)