Injury problems mount for Dortmund
Mertesacker proud to captain Germany
Borussia Dortmund have concerns ahead of their game against Bayern Munich following injuries to defenders Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer in Germany’s 1-0 victory at Wembley.
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Dortmund centre-back Hummels suffered a ligament damage, while left-back Marcel Schmelzer tore a muscle.
"[Hummels] will miss the remainder of the first half of the season," a press statement read on the BVB website. "Club doctor Dr. Markus Braun expects Hummels to be sidelined until mid-January 2014."
Schmelzer may return to the pitch for the last couple of games before the Bundesliga's winter break, with the club expecting him to be sidelined for three weeks.
Hummels limped off the pitch just 20 minutes after coming on for Bayern's Jerome Boateng, and after the game Germany coach Joachim Loew told ZDF TV: "Mats twisted his foot."
Schmelzer was replaced by Marcell Jansen at half-time with a suspected calf injury, meaning Dortmund boss Juergen Klopp potentially faces a selection headache, with the coach already without Neven Subotic.
“That didn’t really go well,” Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller said of the injuries after his Germany debut.
With Subotic ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, former Leverkusen defender Manuel Friedrich, 34, could return to Bundesliga action on Saturday -- although Bild reports he is struggling with knee problems.
Dortmund host Napoli in the Champions League next Tuesday. Last season's finalists currently sit third in their group and need six points from their remaining two fixtures to secure their passage into the knockout phase.
Ahead of the game against Bayern, who lead the league by a four-point margin, Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc wants "proof that their development is a sustainable one."
“Everyone knows that our economical preconditions are not the same as Bayern’s. We have now lost two games against Arsenal and Wolfsburg, despite of that our aspiration has to be that we want to win every home game -- also against Bayern. Of course, we want to keep the league interesting.”