- Champions League
Gotze suffers setback in pursuit of final place
Borussia Dortmund's injured star Mario Gotze has suffered a setback in his race to be fit for the club's clash against domestic rival Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
Gotze tore his hamstring against Real Madrid in the second leg of the semi-final of Europe's premier competition and has been fighting to take his spot in the showpiece event for the past month.
But despite resuming light training recently, a shadow has been cast over the 20-year-old's rehabilitation with news surfacing he was forced to pull out of a training session after experiencing a reoccurrence to the injury.
"Mario has felt something again in his hamstring," Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc told Bild. "That is why he stopped. We don't know how bad it is and whether he is still suffering from it."
Gotze is not the only injury concern for Dortmund, with defender Mats Hummels still nursing an ankle injury.
Hummels, a 2008 signing from Bayern, has been a rock at the heart of Dortmund's defence and his loss would be a massive blow against the Bavarian giants.
But Hummels told Bild magazine he was confident of making Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp's first XI for the final.
"Nothing is torn so it is not as bad as first feared," Hummels said. "I'm confident I'll be ready for the final."
If Gotze does miss the match, it will be the end of the German international's career at the club, as he has already agreed to join Bayern in a summer switch.
Gotze scored 19 goals for Dortmund this season but was lured to the Bundesliga champions after they met his €37 million release clause.
But despite perhaps losing one of their main attacking weapons for the final, Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus believes Dortmund were more than capable of replacing the wantaway striker.
"The big question is whether (Gotze) can play, but then the question is how fit he is," said Matthaus to Sky television. "He has not played for the past three and a half weeks. I would say Mario cannot be 100 per cent fit.
"If anything, then maybe he could take his place on the bench next to Jurgen Klopp because Dortmund are not reliant on Gotze.
"It would also be his last game for Borussia against his future club so it would not be easy for Mario Gotze and it would not be easy for Borussia Dortmund, and it would not be easy for Jurgen Klopp either."