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May 22, 2013

Gotze to miss Champions League final

Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that Mario Gotze will miss the Champions League final through injury.

• Blog: Rise of Dortmund
• Uersfeld: Woe to Wembley

Gotze, 20, tore his hamstring against Real Madrid in the second leg of the semi-final of Europe's premier competition and has been fighting to take his spot in the showpiece event for the past month.

He had recently resumed light training, leading to hope that he would be fit to play against Bayern Munich at Wembley on Saturday, but was then forced to pull out of a training session after experiencing a recurrence to the injury.

And Dortmund have now confirmed on their official website that the playmaker, who will join Bayern Munich in the summer, will not be ready to play a part against his future employers.

"The final was my big goal and I have fought hard to make it over the past few weeks," Gotze is quoted as saying in the press release. "I am unbelievably sorry for not being being able to help the team in this important game. I have full confidence in the team and will of course travel to London to support them on the pitch."

Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp now faces the difficult task of replacing the Germany international, with several options possible. The most likely option could see Ilkay Gundogan, 22, playing in a central role with Sven Bender and Sebastian Kehl taking the holding midfield positions. Another scenario could see Marco Reus moved in from the left wing and Kevin Grosskreutz taking his position.

Dortmund defender Mats Hummels could also miss the final with an ankle injury. However, he is confident of returning to the starting line-up.

"Nothing is torn so it is not as bad as first feared," he told Bild. "I'm confident I'll be ready for the final."

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