Germany defender Saskia Bartusiak is likely to miss 1. FFC Frankfurt's UEFA Women's Champions League return next season after suffering a serious knee injury.
The 31-year-old centre-back collided with goalkeeper Desirée Schumann while scoring an own goal in Sunday's 2-1 Frauen Bundesliga defeat of 1. FFC Turbne Potsdam – a victory that clinched a European return for the three-time winners. She has been diagnosed with a serious cruciate ligament injury and a fracture in her left knee.
Bartusiak is expected to be out for ten months, sidelining her for almost all of the next club season. She will also miss the rest of Germany's FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign, with the finals in Canada starting on 6 June 2015. Bartusiak helped her nation win the 2007 edition and UEFA Women's EURO 2009 and 2013, as well as two German and European titles with Frankfurt.
Following the initial diagnosis, Bartusiak, whose club visit European champions VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday needing a point to reclaim the league title, is to be examined further by a specialist in Munich before it is decided whether she will have surgery. "The diagnosis is a big shock for us all," said FFC sporting director Siegfried Dietrich.
"'Sassi' had just overcome a knee injury, so we all feel especially sorry for her after this new setback and wish her a speedy recovery. After the latest diagnosis, we have to expect that Saskia Bartusiak will be sidelined for at least ten months."
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