Borussia Dortmund: Axel Witsel ruled out until 2020 with facial injury

Borussia Dortmund will be without key midfielder Axel Witsel for the rest of the year after he suffered a facial injury during an accident at home.

Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that Axel Witsel suffered a fall at home over the weekend and injured his face. He has already undergone a successful surgery, and is now on the road to recovery. However, he has been ruled out for the rest of the calendar year.

Witsel has been ever-present in Borussia Dortmund’s midfield so far this season. He has started all but two of his team’s games in all competitions, and has three goals and three assists to his name. So his injury is a big blow for the Black and Yellows.

The Belgian international will miss four games, including key matches against Slavia Praha in the Champions League and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund also visit Mainz and TSG Hoffenheim before the winter break.

It will be interesting to see if Lucien Favre reverts back to the 4-2-3-1 formation he has used for the better part of his tenure. Dortmund have played with a back three in the last two games, and the formation change has helped them get two victories.

Julian Weigl can also play as the holding midfielder, and is the natural choice to replace Witsel. But with Thomas Delaney also out with a torn ankle ligament, Borussia Dortmund’s midfield resources are stretching thin as we head into the new year. Mahmoud Dahoud is also an option, but he has only been used sporadically over the last 18 months.