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Feb 12, 2013

Subotic to return for Dortmund

Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin Grosskreutz are injury doubts for Borussia Dortmund as the Bundesliga champions prepare for their first game in the Champions League knockout stages in 15 years.

But Jurgen Klopp's team should be boosted by the return of defenders Marcel Schmelzer and Neven Subotic for the last-16 game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday evening.

Grosskreutz, 24, has been ruled out with pneumonia and Gundogan, 22, has been hindered by thigh and toe problems.

Left-back Marcel Schmelzer, just back from a cold, could return to the starting line-up but gave Dortmund a scare when he suffered an ankle injury during training on Monday. However, an MR scan on Tuesday morning gave him the all-clear to join up with the squad.

Dortmund, who won their group ahead of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax, can also rely on Serbia international Subotic who had been sidelined with a calf injury suffered during their winter training camp.

But Klopp was encouraged by his potential to return in such a big game, telling Ruhr Nachrichten: "You could send Neven into a big, dark forest without being worried. He'd get to the other side, would be showered and shaved, he'd have eaten and drunk and would have done several other things. In other words: He'll manage!"

It will be Subotic's first game since the injury after he was left on the bench for the defeat against Hamburg on Saturday. "The winter break and the injury ruled me out of training for four weeks," he explained.

Meanwhile, reports in Poland suggest that right-back Lukasz Piszczek could be set for hip surgery when Dortmund are eliminated from the Champions League, placing doubts on his fitness.

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