Dortmund’s injuries pile up ahead of Bremen


Berlin (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund have been hit by fresh injury problems ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga clash at Werder Bremen with midfielders Sebastian Rode and Emre Mor the latest to be ruled out.

The German league restarts after the four-week winter break, but Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel has a dwindling pool of players.

Top striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Gabon while Germany defender Sven Bender is out for the forseeable future with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile French winger Ousmane Dembele (hip) and Greece defender Sokratis (ankle) are still doubtful after picking up strains at Dortmund’s training camp in Spain.

Now Turkey midfielder Mor and Rode are also out with knocks.

Germany forward and former Chelsea man Andre Schuerrle, who struggled with injury and a lack of form in the first half of the season, is set to replace Aubameyang at strugglers Bremen.

“We must control their counter-attack,” said Tuchel with Bremen’s Germany winger Serge Gnabry always dangerous on the break.

“I am very fond of Bremen, but I also know how hard it is to win there.”

Dortmund, who face Benfica in the last 16 of the Champions League next month, are sixth in the German league table, 12 points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

Tuchel has said the goal is a top three finish in the table to qualify directly for next season’s Champions League.

The Dortmund boss says they may yet sign a forward in the current transfer window with Colombia striker Adrian Ramos poised to join Chinese side Chongqing Lifan.

“We have a few profiles and players in our heads, but can’t currently offer more than the number two role behind Aubameyang,” added Tuchel.

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