BERLIN – Borussia Dortmund’s creative midfielder Mario Götze has been sidelined for at least six weeks with ankle ligament damage, the troubled Bundesliga club said on Monday.
Since establishing a five-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga in September, Dortmund have not won a league game, and infamously threw away a 4-0 lead over bitter rivals Schalke this weekend.
One bright aspect of their season so far has however been the gradual return to form of the man who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, the now 25-year-old Götze.
“Bad news everyone: Midfielder @mariogoetze sustained partial ligament tears in his upper and lower ankle in the Bundesliga match against (Schalke) on Saturday,” the club said on Twitter beneath a photo of the baby-faced former Bayern Munich man clutching his right ankle in agony.
🤕 Bad news everyone: Midfielder @MarioGoetze sustained partial ligament tears in his upper and lower ankle in the Bundesliga match against @s04_en on Saturday. It is estimated that the 25-year-old will be out of action for approximately six weeks. Get well soon, Mario! pic.twitter.com/pDN7p6h4us
Since Götze returned to Dortmund from Bayern, he has struggled with a serious and debilitating metabolism disorder he discovered he had in March, and from which he only began to recover fully in August.
Blessed with lightning instincts and a first touch of rare quality, Götze scored for Dortmund on Saturday and appeared to be recapturing the kind of dazzling form that enabled him to score his astonishing World Cup final goal.
Dutch coach Peter Bosz, formerly of Ajax, is rumoured to have a single match to save his job ahead of Saturday’s clash at Bayer Leverkusen.