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04 October 2023

Dortmund set to lose Bender with ankle injury


German champions Borussia Dortmund look set to be without midfielder Sven Bender for several weeks after he damaged left ankle ligaments in the 2-0 win at Nuremberg.

The 22-year-old was injured on Friday after competing for the ball with Nuremberg's Daniel Didavi and an MRI scan on Monday will reveal the extent of the damage.

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has already lost midfielder Mario Goetze with a groin injury for up to two months.

"There is no ligament injury which doesn't need an injury break, so that is very, very bad," said Klopp, whose team went top of the league on Friday night.

Bender has had little luck having just returned after recovering from breaking his jaw in the Champions League defeat at Arsenal last November.

Dortmund face regional league side Holstein Kiel in the quarter-finals of the German Cup on Tuesday and captain Sebastian Kehl is doubtful after damaging his foot in the win in Nuremberg.

Klopp also praised striker Lucas Barrios after the Paraguay forward came off the bench to score Dortmund's second goal on Friday night.

It was Barrios' first goal of the season having lost his place to Poland's Robert Lewandowski at the start of the season which led to him telling Klopp he wanted to leave during January's transfer window.

Klopp said he was happy to see an improvement in the fortunes of Barrios, who scored 16 goals in 32 games last season as Dortmund won the title.

"This is the type of beautiful story that you only get in football and does us all good," said Klopp.

"Lucas's face is almost bursting with joy.

"After weighing all the facts, he decided to stay with us and that was a good thing.

"We need his quality and he is dangerous for us."

Barrios was certainly on cloud nine after a difficult few weeks when he admits he looked at joining other clubs with his agent.

"The fans, the coaches, my colleagues - everyone told me: 'Lucas, keep going, always keep going, you will score'. They were right.

"I just want to keep working hard and my chances will come."