No Haaland goals until next year as injuries add up for Dortmund

Erling Haaland will be sidelined with a muscle injury until January after he was surprisingly omitted from Dortmund's most recent Champions League game.

Dortmund coach Lucien Favre later confirmed Erling Haaland (in frame) suffered a muscle injury in training and would return in January. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Borussia Dortmund will be short on defenders and firepower in front of goal when it travels to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, with its title chances suffering a blow after top scorer Erling Haaland was ruled out for weeks.

The 20-year-old Norwegian will be sidelined with a muscle injury until January after he was surprisingly omitted from the Bundesliga side's squad in Wednesday's Champions League 1-1 draw against Lazio.

Coach Lucien Favre later confirmed Haaland suffered a muscle injury in training and would return in January. He has netted 10 times in his eight league games this season and another six times in four Champions League matches.

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Dortmund also saw centre back Mats Hummels being helped off the pitch late in Wednesday's game after a knock on his ankle.

It was already without defenders Thomas Meunier and Emre Can ahead of Saturday.

“I just came from the hospital and it looks as if it is not too bad,” Hummels said late on Wednesday on social media.

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“It could be that it is ok in a few days. We will check it again on Thursday and see.”

Dortmund does not have the luxury of dropping any points at this stage, with its shock 2-1 loss to Cologne last week sending the side to fourth place.

Four points off leader Bayern Munich, the Ruhr valley club must bounce back following two matches without a win in the past six days, if it is to stay in touch with the top.

To do that it will somehow need to cover the gaping hole in attack left by Haaland's absence.

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“Until 11 or 12 months ago we were also playing without him,” Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc said. “But obviously this hurts us now.”

“Now it is up to the others to deal with it. We now need to become a bit more flexible and compensate for his scoring ability,” he said.

Champions Bayern Munich hosts second-placed RB Leipzig, which will leapfrog into first place with a win.

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Bayern, on 22 points, is currently two ahead of Leipzig, who joined the Bavarians in the Champions League knockout stage after Tuesday's 4-3 win at Istanbul Basaksehir.

Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, on 19, travels on Sunday to strugglers Schalke 04, who has gone 25 league games without a win.

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