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Leverkusen's Friedrich to miss Villarreal games

Defender Manuel Friedrich is set to be unavailable for both legs of Bayer 04 Leverkusen's round of 16 tie with Villarreal CF after fracturing a shoulder blade in Bundesliga action.

Manuel Friedrich is nursing a fractured left shoulder blade
Manuel Friedrich is nursing a fractured left shoulder blade ©Getty Images

Bayer 04 Leverkusen expect to be without Manuel Friedrich for both legs of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against Villarreal CF after the central defender suffered a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old former Germany player was taken off 15 minutes into Saturday's 3-0 Bundesliga win at home to VfL Wolfsburg and subsequent tests revealed that he had fractured his left shoulder blade. Friedrich, who has started nine of Leverkusen's UEFA Europa League games this season, will most likely miss both matches against Villarreal since he faces several weeks on the sidelines.

There was better news for Jupp Heynckes' team ahead of Thursday's first-leg visit from the Spanish club, with centre-back Sami Hyypiä sufficiently recovered from a bout of gastroenteritis to return to normal training on Monday.