Dortmund running out of players ahead of Bielefeld game

The club said forward Steffen Tigges was ruled out for the remainder of the season after breaking his left ankle in training on Wednesday.

Top striker Erling Haaland, out since late January, is back in training but it is still unclear whether he will be fit to play amid swirling speculation over a possible summer transfer.   -  AP

Borussia Dortmund's rollercoaster season continues against Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday with coach Marco Rose having just one striker available for the game while missing others through COVID-19.

The club said forward Steffen Tigges was ruled out for the remainder of the season after breaking his left ankle in training on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old had made a positive impact with three goals in nine league games so far but now joins fellow forward Youssoufa Moukoko on the injury list.

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Top striker Erling Haaland, out since late January, is back in training but it is still unclear whether he will be fit to play amid swirling speculation over a possible summer transfer for the Norwegian.

Rose's only clear option up front for Sunday is Donyell Malen and he knows the Dutch striker must start delivering after his 30 million euro ($33 million) transfer last year.

Malen has played 23 league games but his goal haul is only slightly better than Tigges' with four.

To make matters worse Dortmund will be without defender Mats Hummels and midfielder Raphael Guerreiro after they both tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They will also need to adapt to a new match schedule after last week's league game against Mainz 05 had to be postponed due to COVID-19 cases among Mainz players.

Dortmund now faces Arminia, which have its own COVID-19 cases, on Sunday before taking on Mainz on Wednesday.

Dortmund is in second place in the Bundesliga, nine points behind leader Bayern Munich but has a game in hand. Bayer Leverkusen, in third place, is a further five points behind on 45.

While Dortmund still have some -- albeit slim -- title hopes, Rose, in his first season in charge, knows that his team needs to secure Champions League football for next season as fans calling for his exit grow louder.

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"Marco Rose is in no way up for discussion at Borussia Dortmund," club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told SportBild newspaper.

Dortmund has crashed out of both the Champions League and the Europa League competitions while also being eliminated by second tier club St Pauli from the German Cup.

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