Bundesliga News

Schalke updates:
Drexler out until April, Balanta and Kozuki scheduled for MRIs

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Heading into a massive matchup with their "Ruhr Rivals" next Saturday evening, there is unfortunate injury news emanating from the FC Schalke 04 camp. 
Dominick Drexler
Dominick DrexlerFC Schalke 04
After lifting themselves off of last place with back-to-back league wins, FC Schalke 04 face a stern test in the form of red-hot Borussia Dortmund next Saturday in what will be the 100th league edition of German football's famed "Revierderby". According to Germany's Kicker Magazine, Schalke trainer Thomas Reis will hav to do without attacking midfielder Dominick Drexler.

The 32-year-old has reportedly sustained a muscle injury in his thigh that will keep him out through the international break. Drexler was the player who helped Schalke break out of their long scoring drought during the matchday 22 win against Stuttgart. The Bonn-native has scored six goals across all competitions for die Knappen this season. Rodrigo Zalazar filled in for Drexler against Bochum this weekend, to largely positive effect.

Reis prevailed against his former club on Saturday using a 4-1-4-1 that relied upon Colombian international Eder Alvarez Balanta as the protective bolt-lock sweeper. According to Dirk G. Schlarmann of Sky Germany, there is bad news regarding Balanta as well. The 30-year-old is reportedly scheduled for an MRI today after incurring an unspecified injury over the weekend.

Schlarmann also reports that Japanese flanker Soichiro Kozuki - considered a valuable spark-plug in the S04 attack since being promoted to the senior team in January - is also scheduled for an MRI today. The talented youngster has been struggling with an ankle ligament injury and has not been available to the team since matchday 20.

The Schalke medical staff now wish to probe the problem further with an extra examination.

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