Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck will miss Saturday’s Bundesliga game at VfB Stuttgart and fellow defender Niklas Suele is doubtful with a muscle injury, coach Edin Terzic said on Thursday.
Dortmund is in second place in the Bundesliga, two points behind leader Bayern Munich with seven matches remaining.
“Nico is now pain-free but he will not be available for the match,” Terzic told a news conference. The Germany international was injured in Dortmund’s 4-2 loss to Bayern on April 1.
Suele had not trained with the team this week, Terzic said.
“So he is doubtful for Saturday but even if he is not available we hope he will be better next week.”
Dortmund is chasing its first Bundesliga title in 11 years, with Bayern having won the last 10 consecutive league crowns.
The Bavarians, however, are in the middle of a crisis with a row between players Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane dominating the headlines after Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
New Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel also saw his team crash out of the German Cup last week with a home defeat to Freiburg.
Terzic said whatever turbulence Bayern were experiencing at the moment would have little effect on the title race.
“It is difficult to evaluate all this from a distance. It is not that we have had a quiet week. So we can talk about the things that we need to improve.
“Sure, it is a bit less quiet in the past weeks (at Bayern)you’ve all seen it . But we still know we have our own issues to deal with,” Terzic said.
Dortmund beat third-placed Union Berlin 2-1 last week to bounce back from their loss to Bayern and the coach said his players needed to show more of that attitude against Stuttgart.
“We want to talk less and show more. We did it well against a direct rival (Union) so we want to pick up from that,” he said.
“It is the final stretch and we have a hunger going into the remaining seven game and want to experience an amazing story.”