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Bundesliga News

BVB lose Manuel Akanji for rest of 2021, backup keepers Bürki and Hitz also stricken

By Peter Vice

For Borussia Dortmund, the task heading into a packed three rounds of Bundesliga action to close out the 2021 calendar remains clear: Don't fall any further behind Bayern München in the next twelve days. 

More injury problems in the defensive corps may make that problematic, as head-coach Marco Rose confirmed just prior to Tuesday's Champions' League victory.

Manuel Akanji.
Manuel Akanji.Photo: Borussia Dortmund

Just as Dortmund were getting most of their offensive actors back in the attack, the Schwarzgelben were struck with bad news on Tuesday. Reliable defender Manuel Akanji had to undergo minor knee surgery that will sideline him for the rest of 2021. The club confirmed this shortly before kickoff against Besiktas on Tuesday night.

The Swiss defender, who has thus far not missed a single minute in the Bundesliga and the Champions' League, will be sorely missed as he had recently strung together a series of excellent performances. Rose admitted as much as he got the tough news out of the way in pre-match remarks.

"He's a difference maker for us in the defensive ranks, just like Erling Haaland and Marco Reus up front," the BVB trainer noted.

Dortmund play Bochum, Fürth, and Hertha in the final three rounds of 2021, which will be completed on a tight turnaround with midweek fixtures. Germans label this an "Englischer Woche" ("English Week").

Dortmund also played their final Champions' League group stage fixture without backup keepers Marwin Hitz (ankle injury) and Roman Bürki (tendon issues).

Eighteen-year-old Silas Ostrzinski is, for the time being, the only option should #1 Gregor Kobel encounter any problems.

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