Witsel and Can may lose Bundesliga restart after leaving quarantine

BERLIN: former Liverpool star Emre Can and Belgian international Axel Witsel I'll miss Borussia Dortmund Derby with Schalke 04 on Saturday when German football makes a tentative return.

As with all other accessories in the rest of the Bundesliga season, it will be played behind closed doors with players in quarantine for one week before kickoff.

Because Can and Witsel need treatment for muscle strains, they have had to leave the team's quarantine bubble, so they cannot play on Saturday.

Known as the Ruhr derby, Dortmund v Schalke is a key element as German football paves the way for Europe's top leagues by resuming two months after it stopped, but with no spectators.

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It will be the first major European league to resume after the outbreak of the pandemic, which has so far claimed around 7,500 lives in Germany.

As the Bundesliga restarts Dortmund are second in the table, four points behind Bayern Munich and a single point ahead of third placed RB Leipzig.

Witsel and German central midfielder Can, who spent four years in Liverpool and recently joined Dortmund on loan from Juventus, both suffered injuries in training after the long layoff.

Dortmund has played two training matches without the injured couple as they prepare for the Ruhr's first derby in its 95-year history without a crowd.

We are used to playing at home against 82,000, Dortmund coach Lucien Favre told the Bild newspaper.

Mentally preparing now to play without being animated and without being pushed by the atmosphere is an extreme challenge.