Borussia Dortmund have been dealt a bitter blow ahead of their final two games before German football's traditional winter break, with the club revealing on Monday that Mario Gotze has sustained a muscular injury and will be sidelined until January.
The 19-year-old picked up the knock in the 1-1 draw with Kaiserslautern last weekend, allowing Bayern Munich to open up a three point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
"Playing against Kaiserslautern, BVB midfielder Mario Gotze incurred a torn muscle in his [front] thigh," a Dortmund statement revealed.
"Thus, the 19-year-old international player will be missing for the two remaining games this year [Freiburg in the Bundesliga, Dusseldorf in the DFB Pokal]."
Gotze's fitness was rated as questionable heading into the match, but came on as a substitute in the second half and further aggravated a previous injury.
BVB will now have to move forward without the Germany international, who has scored six goals and provided eight assists in 22 appearances this season, and was recently labelled the European 'Golden Boy' of the year by Tuttosport.