Things are quiet in Dortmund at the moment, as most of Thomas Tuchel’s players are away on international duty during a round of World Cup 2018 Qualifiers and friendly matches.
Here’s a roundup of all the important news concerning the Black and Yellows.
Marco Reus in Running Training, Marc Bartra Further Along
As Stefan Buczko reported here, attacker Marco Reus has returned to running training following the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen last weekend. The 27-year-old is slowly making improvements following his adductor injury that cost him his spot at Euro 2016. When he can return to full team training and get actual game time remains a mystery at this point.
Centre-back Marc Bartra, meanwhile, could return for the match against Hertha BSC on Friday, October 14. The Catalan is in intense running training and seems upbeat about his prospects to return to the playing field in short order.
Keeping working hard to be in my best! Good feelings and looking forward to being back on the field soon! 💪🏻🌗⚽️ pic.twitter.com/zVGwdkt0te
— Marc Bartra (@MarcBartra) October 8, 2016
Gonzalo Castro out for Four Weeks?
According to German tabloid Bild (subscription required), midfielder Gonzalo Castro will miss up to four weeks with a muscle injury he picked up at Leverkusen. The club has yet to confirm or deny the report, but it certainly seems as though Castro, who had been in terrific form before the international break, will at least miss the clash with Berlin.
Raphael Guerreiro Banged Up?
Summer signing Raphael Guerreiro has taken Dortmund fans by storm with his all-action displays in midfield, so news of the 22-year-old receiving treatment after leaving the pitch in the 52nd minute in Portugal’s meeting with Andorra will not have been welcome.
The Portuguese football federation have, however, given a signal that his injury in the thigh region doesn’t seem overly severe, stating that the former FC Lorient man who plays left-back for his country will travel to Faroe Islands for the second match of the current international break.
Matthias Ginter and Christian Pulisic Return Early
Defender Matthias Ginter and midfield sensation Christian Pulisic will return earlier than expected from international duty. Fear not, however, BVB fans – they aren’t injured. Ginter’s return was agreed upon with new Germany under-21 head coach Stefan Kuntz, with the centre-back having played at the Rio Olympics.
Pulisic, meanwhile, is among a number of players dropped by USMNT head coach Jürgen Klinsmann ahead of a friendly match against New Zealand on Tuesday, per a report by the Washington Post. Klinsmann said that “we sent some of our European-based guys back to make sure they stay in a rhythm for the next few weeks.” With Dortmund playing on Friday, those early returns are quite welcome.
Dortmund Want to Extend Julian Weigl’s Contract
In news that can hardly be called surprising, sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed the club’s willingness to extend midfielder Julian Weigl’s contract. Speaking to Bild, he said (h/t Deutsche Welle): “We have the wish to tie him to a long-term contract. But we are not pressed for time because he feels extremely comfortable here.”
The tabloid reports that the club are ready to increase the 21-year-old’s wages from €1.3 million to €4 million per year. Weigl has quickly established himself as perhaps the most important player in Tuchel’s system after making the move from 2. Bundesliga side 1860 Munich in the summer of 2015.
Mario Götze Shines For Germany
Despite playing in his unbeloved role as a “false nine,” midfielder Mario Götze shined in Germany’s 3-0 win over Czech Republic on Saturday evening in Hamburg. The 24-year-old looked spry and sharp even without scoring himself, as he set up Thomas Müller’s opener and generally was dangerous on the ball.
Combining especially well with team-mates Mesut Özil and Müller, Götze confirmed his form is on the rise.