Schalke 04 - Hertha BSC

Germany: Bundesliga
Schalke 04 A. Harit (6)
Hertha BSC D. Boyata (19), J. Ngankam (74), D. Lukebakio (89)

Hertha down another striker as Piatek injury appears serious

By Peter Vice

Another injury to the Hertha BSC attacking corps depletes trainer Pal Dardai's center-forward options ahead of the final two crucial fixtures of the season. 

Krzystof Piatek.
Krzystof Piatek.

Already without Jhon Cordoba for the duration of the season and very probably missing Matheus Cunha this weekend, Germany's "alte dame" must now make do without Krzysztof Piatek. The 25-year-old Polish striker injured his ankle during Wednesday's match in Gerlsenkirchen. Unable to leave the pitch on his own power, he was subbed off in the 58th.

"It's doesn't look good," trainer Pal Dardai candidly said after the match, "the ankle is all messed up."

A closer examination is scheduled for Thursday, according to sources at German footballing magazine Kicker. It looks likely that Piatek, along with Cordoba and Cunha, will be lost for the season.

Young talent Jessic Ngankam came on for Piatek and scored the game-winning goal. Hertha nevertheless face another match on a very tight-turnaround against fellow relegation candidates 1. FC Köln on Saturday. Dardai will also have to make do without forward Dodi Lukebakio, who was sent off late on a red against Schalke.

Without Lukebakio, Cunha, Corboba, and Piatek, Ngankam may be Dardai's only remaining option in terms of a center forward. Dutch wingers Javairo Dilrosun (returning from injury) and Daishawn Redan (underutilized) constitute risker options.

Schalke 04
1Ralf Fährmann
30Shkodran Mustafi
26Salif Sané
24Bastian Oczipka
41Florian Flick
31Timo Becker ↩90
36Blendi Idrizi ↩77
25Amine Harit
20Sead Kolašinac (C)
21Klaas-Jan Huntelaar ↩77
43Matthew Hoppe
23Frederik Rønnow
9Benito Raman ↪77
18Gonçalo Paciência ↪90
22Steven Skrzybski ↪77
2Kilian Ludewig
19Brooklyn Ezeh
49Vasíleios Pavlídis
28Alessandro Schöpf
Hertha BSC
1Alexander Schwolow
2Peter Pekarík
20Dedryck Boyata (C)
14Omar Alderete
21Marvin Plattenhardt
6Vladimír Darida ↩58
29Lucas Tousart
7Mathew Leckie ↩58
16Javairô Dilrosun ↩76
24Nemanja Radonjić ↩89
9Krzysztof Piątek ↩58
12Nils-Jonathan Körber
11Dodi Lukebakio ↪58
27Jessic Ngankam ↪58
5Niklas Stark
25Jordan Torunarigha ↪89
42Deyovaisio Zeefuik
18Santiago Ascacíbar ↪58
23Eduard Löwen
40Jonas Michelbrink ↪76

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