Borussia Dortmund have suffered a blow as they prepare to start the defence of their Bundesliga title on Friday by learning that striker Lucas Barrios will be sidelined for longer than first feared.
Barrios, a Paraguay international who has scored 35 goals in 65 Bundesliga appearances for the Westphalians, picked up a thigh injury while representing his country at the Copa America last month.
The initial diagnosis indicated a break of two to three weeks, but after returning to Germany at his club's request to undergo further tests, the true extent of the damage to his thigh has emerged.
''It is not a pretty story,'' reported Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp on his club's website. ''The tear to the muscle fibres is a lot larger than we were told. The injury is far worse than Paraguay's team doctor had told us.''
Barrios willingly accepted his club's request for him to return to Germany early since, according to Klopp, the player ''clearly did not feel he was being well looked after over there''.
''He is expected to be out for five to six weeks,'' added Klopp. ''This is very annoying and casts a shadow over our relationship with the Paraguayan Football Association.''
Klopp will now be without his top goalscorer from last season until mid-September, meaning he could also miss the club's first fixture in the Champions League.