Borussia Dortmund have eight players sidelined for Tuesday’s Champions League match at Zenit St Petersburg, where victory will clinch the German club top spot in their group.
Star striker Erling Braut Haaland is out until January with a leg injury, while midfielders Thomas Delaney, Raphael Guerreiro, Mahmoud Dahoud and Mateu Morey are all missing with various ailments.
Defenders Thomas Meunier and Manuel Akanji are also on the injured list, while 18-year-old Brazilian Reinier is not ready to return after contracting coronavirus.
“We have to be careful, it will be important to use rotation in this situation,” warned coach Lucien Favre in Monday’s press conference.
Dortmund have already qualified for the last 16 and will finish top of Group F if they win in Russia.
At 16 years and 18 days, Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko could become the youngest player in Champions League history if he features.
Dortmund plan to spend as little time in St Petersburg as possible, and midfielder Emre Can admitted that some players are on their last legs.
“Sometimes it hurts, even during the games, we just have to grit our teeth,” he said after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.
“It can’t be helped that there are so many games.”