BV Borussia Dortmund defender Christoph Metzelder has been ruled out until 2004 due to a major setback.
The German international has been told he needs a second operation on the achilles injury which has kept him out since March. Metzelder will travel to Basel, Switzerland for surgery, which became necessary after a partially ruptured tendon was discovered during tests. "I could have cried," the 22-year-old said.
Worse than feared
Speaking after Saturday's 6-2 Bundesliga win against Hannover 96, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said: "Christoph will be out for a longer period than we all expected." The additional lay-off could even hinder Metzelder's chances of regaining his German national team place prior to next summer's UEFA EURO 2004™ finals.
Dortmund, who will play FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in the UEFA Cup second round next month, have been blighted by injuries this season. Earlier this month, Ahmed Madouni joined a growing casualty list at the Westfalenstadion after being ruled out for six weeks with ankle damage.