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Leverkusen’s Paulinho out of German Cup final, Europa League

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen will be without forward Paulinho for the German Cup final and the Europa League mini-tournament after he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the club said Thursday.

Leverkusen said the 19-year-old Brazilian injured his knee in a training session on Tuesday. He has been scheduled for an operation in Austria on Friday and will be out for several months, the club said.

Leverkusen will play Bayern Munich in the German Cup final on Saturday. The club also faces Rangers in the last 16 of the Europa League, which resumes next month.

“It’s an unbelievable shame and almost tragic that Paulinho can’t be part of the high point of the season in Berlin and the continuation of the season in the Europa League in August,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said in a statement. “His serious injury gives us even more motivation to win the cup for him this weekend. And we wish him personally a lot of strength and a quick recovery.”

Paulinho has scored three goals in 19 games for Leverkusen this season. He played as a substitute in five of the club’s last six Bundesliga games and played the full game when Leverkusen beat Saarbrücken in the German Cup semifinals last month.

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