Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang faces late fitness tests on an adductor injury ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga game against Ingolstadt on Friday.
Coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed the Gabon international has yet to fully recover from the injury that kept him out of Tuesday’s 3-0 DFB-Pokal quarter-final win at Sportfreunde Lotte.
With Ousmane Dembele suspended, Mario Gotze ruled out indefinitely, Marco Reus injured for a month and Shinji Kagawa and Julian Weigl both nursing knocks, Tuchel has a number of attacking players missing for Friday’s match.
“Aubameyang is doubtful for Ingolstadt. We’ll have to decide tomorrow [Friday] if he can play,” Tuchel told reporters. “We have not just 11 good players.
“Weigl might try things later today, he was in rehab basically 24 hours after Hertha. Kagawa picked up a knock to his knee against Lotte. It would be a shame for Shinji if he had to miss tomorrow’s match, as he is in blinding form.”
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 14, 2017
Bayern Munich legend Mehmet Scholl has suggested Dortmund’s teenage talent Christian Pulisic could be a transfer target for the Bundesliga leaders and Tuchel noted the 18-year-old has a lot of room to improve, while advising the United States international on how to focus on his football.
“We’re happy about Pulisic’s development, but we have to keep in mind that he could play at youth level,” Tuchel said. “He was an important factor as a substitute and now with more injuries he is an integral part of the team.
“I’d advise Pulisic not to read too much, especially if things aren’t going so well. Maybe turn off that Google alert for his own name on his phone.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 16, 2017
Dortmund are third in the Bundesliga ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, 16 points behind Bayern, but they are unbeaten at home in the league since April 2015, a strong record Tuchel believes will boost his injury-hit side for the visit of second-bottom Ingolstadt.
“It’s incredibly hard to play us at our home, nobody really likes it. I didn’t fancy it much for five years [coaching Mainz] myself,” said Tuchel.
“It’ll be a tough game. Ingolstadt haven’t had a lot of good results, but they have played well. They defend very resolutely. It was very aggravating for us to not win the reverse fixture in Ingolstadt, as they were going through tough times. Ingolstadt will be very courageous with our personnel problems in mind, so we’ll have to develop a special focus.”
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