Berlin: Borussia Dortmund`s Bundesliga crisis took a turn for the worst on Sunday with attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan ruled out for the next six weeks.
The 25-year-old playmaker limped off after 35 minutes of their 1-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin on Saturday which dropped Borussia back into the bottom three having started December last in the league.
A scan has confirmed Mkhitaryan has torn his right thigh muscle and misses their last two Bundesliga matches of 2014 on Wednesday at home to Wolfsburg and Saturday away to Werder Bremen with his side battling to escape the relegation places.
With the Bundesliga due to break for winter next Sunday, Mkhitaryan will only be available for Dortmund`s first league game of 2015 on January 31 at Bayer Leverkusen.
It means Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has lost another key attacking midfielder for their final games of the year with Germany winger Marco Reus ruled out until 2015 after tearing ankle ligaments.
Despite qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners, Dortmund have the worst losing record in the Bundesliga with nine defeats from 15 games.
Both Hertha coach Jos Luhukay and Berlin striker Julian Schieber, who scored against his former club, expressed sympathy for Dortmund`s situation when they talked about a "fantastic team" with an "excellent trainer", but Klopp acknowledges his side are deep in a crisis.
"This awesome team also has awesome problems," admitted the 47-year-old.
"The first half performance was the direct opposite of how we wanted to play.
"Now we have the chance to dramatically improve our position after the first half of the season and that is our task," he added with a view to this week`s matches.