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Thinking through Mario Götze’s hamstring injury

Apr 30, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Borussia Dortmund's Gotze leaves the pitch after their Champions League quarter final first leg soccer match against Malaga at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga Reuters

With the light shining on Borussia Dortmund after Tuesday’s big result – a loss that all the same moved BVB into their second-ever Champions League final — it’s easy to forget that small cloud that just peaked its head over the horizon sometime after kickoff on Tuesday. You know what I’m talking about – that cumulus blob Dortmund and their fans may have to deal with when they encounter it four weeks from now?

That cloud is Mario Götze’s injury. The young German creator left today’s game early after picking up what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Dortmund, often cited as lacking depth, were only able to replace him with Kevin Grosskreutz and move Marco Reus to the middle. Sorry if we can’t shed a tear for the talent-rich.

But with everybody at this stage of UEFA Champions League being talent-rich, the difference between a Götze and Grosskreutz may prove decisive, which is why this preliminary report should scare BVB fans (when they sober up, tomorrow):

The word “tear” – that’s really a worst-case scenario. If Honigstein were citing a “strain,” Dortmund supporters could be reasonably sure rest would restore their talented attacker before May 25′s final in Wembley. But a tear? How often do we hear “four-to-six weeks” as the prognosis around those?

Sure, Borussia Dortmund will be fine if Mario Götze can’t play in Wembley. A three of Reus, Grosskreutz, and Jakob Blaszczykowski behind Robert Lewandowski? Again, nobody is going to shed a tear.

But that doesn’t mean Götze’s absence wouldn’t matter.

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