Marco Reus will miss two of Borussia Dortmund's remaining three games in the Bundesliga title race after being slapped with a suspension by the German Football Association (DFB) following his sending off in Saturday's derby defeat to Schalke.
The DFB's announcement on Monday means the Dortmund captain will return for his side's visit to Borussia Moenchengladbach on the last day of the season, by which time the destination of the title could already be decided.
Dortmund will travel to Werder Bremen and host Fortuna Duesseldorf without Reus in the next two weeks, as it looks to make up a two-point gap between itself and league leader Bayern Munich.
The Dortmund captain was given a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Suat Serdar during Dortmund's shock 4-2 loss to local rival Schalke.
Reus' team mate Marius Wolf, who was also sent off on Saturday for a similar challenge on Serdar, will be suspended until the end of the season. The DFB said that it had handed a more severe ban to Wolf because, unlike Reus, he had not had “no chance of reaching the ball with his tackle”.
After Dortmund's defeat to Schalke, Bayern missed the chance to go four points clear when it was held to a draw at Nuremberg on Sunday.