Ahead of their game against high-flyers Hertha BSC on Saturday, FC Augsburg have been rocked by the news that three important first team players could be out until after Christmas.
They confirmed on Thursday that Raúl Bobadilla, Alfred Finnbogason and Ja-Cheol Koo would all be out for several weeks after sustaining injuries in the last few days, whilst Dong-Won Ji also returned from international duty with a muscle problem.
They join an injury list that already includes Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker, Caiuby and Jeffrey Goueleeuw, leaving coach Dirk Schuster with a major selection headache ahead of the match at home to Hertha.
Augsburg without all of their main strikers
Bobadilla had only just returned from a shoulder injury, making a brief appearance from the bench in the 2-0 victory over FC Ingolstadt 04 just before the international break. However he has now suffered tendon injury in his calf during training.
Finnbogason had also been out with abductor problems, last playing against RB Leipzig at the end of September, but this has extended into inflammation of the pubic bone.
Koo, who had started every match in midfield for Augsburg this season, returned from duty with South Korea, for whom he played all 90 minutes of a World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan on Tuesday, with a calf injury.
Meanwhile Ji, his team mate for club and country, also returned to Germany with a muscle problem, and although he is set for a shorter spell on the sidelines, it leaves them without all three of the primary striking options.
Unprecedented bad luck
“It is unbelievable the amount of bad luck we are currently having with injuries,” said the club’s sporting director Stefan Reuter on the club’s website. “Almost all of our attacking players are injured at the moment and for at least a week", he added. "I have never before experienced such an accumulation of players out injured.”
“It’s now important for the whole to stick together in order to overcome this difficult period,” he added. “It’s in just these sorts of situations that the team really needs the backing of all FCA fans.”
The crisis means Schuster may be forced to hand a first Augsburg start to either Takashi Usami or Julian Günther-Schmidt when Hertha, currently fourth in the Bundesliga, visit the WWK Arena at the weekend.
Of the other players also unavailable at the moment, winger Caiuby has a knee injury, and defenders Callsen-Bracker and Goueleeuw have ankle and lung problems respectively. However Marvin Friedrich, recovering from a muscle injury, is back in training.
Quotes via FC Augsburg.