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Ilkay Gundogan has back surgery again, out 3 months

Jun 18, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

Gundogan AP

Teams looking to purchase Ilkay Gundogan this summer may be forced to wait.

After missing nearly all of last season with a nagging back injury he had operated on, the Borussia Dortmund playmaker has again gone under the knife for a “minimally invasive” operation, according to the team doctor.

The 23-year-old has struggled mightily with injuries since his initial back injury last summer. He was ready to return in January before the combination of bronchitis and a nerve injury in his back shelved him for the season and the World Cup.

None of this has stopped rampant rumors that Manchester United – among other top-level teams – are interested in purchasing his services this summer, but with him likely unable to complete a medical until the surgery heals, there’s only a slim chance he’ll move now.

Despite this, links are still surfacing connecting him to Old Trafford, with reports saying new manager Louis van Gaal is maintaining the interest in the German that David Moyes began last winter.

Dortmund says Gundogan will be ready to go in September.

During his injury layoff last year, photos surfaced that Gundogan was struggling to keep his weight down while recovering from injury, and some of the pictures were quite shocking.

A fearsome playmaker in the attacking midfield before his injury, teams interested in his abilities at this point will likely wait until he has returned to continue their interest, as it’s unsure what kind of impact this injury could have on his career going forward.

[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ]

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