Borussia Dortmund continues to find ways to drop deeper and deeper into the black hole this season has become.
A gut-wrenching 1-0 loss to 13th placed Hertha Berlin was made even worse with news that playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss a month and a half after tearing his right hamstring.
“He felt a twinge and that’s not good for us when we have a midweek match,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp on Saturday. “He’ll probably miss the rest of the first half of the season.”
That likely means he’ll be out until at least the end of January, and Dortmund can ill-afford to miss one of its most creative players. With Marco Reus already missing for weeks with an ankle problem, Mkhitaryan trails just in-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa with 19 chances created this season according to Squawka Statistics.
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Mkhitaryan’s creativity also bears fruit in another way, with the 25-year-old Armenian in the Bundesliga’s top 15 in fouls suffered, and in fewer minutes than all but one of those ranking higher in the category.
The club has matches against Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen, and Bayer Leverkusen coming up, currently mired in the relegation playoff spot on goal differential, but still do sit just nine points off a Champions League position.