EARLY END TO SEA­SON

Dort­mund con­firm Goetze’s bat­tle against an un­spec­i­fied me­tab­o­lism dis­or­der re­mains un­re­solved

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BORUS­SIA Dort­mund ad­mit­ted on Wed­nes­day the sea­son is over for Ger­many’s fallen star Mario Goetze as the World Cup win­ner con­tin­ues his bat­tle against an un­spec­i­fied me­tab­o­lism dis­or­der.

The world ap­peared to be at the gifted Goetze’s feet in 2014 when his ex­tra-time goal won the World Cup fi­nal at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Mara­cana sta­dium.

But his ca­reer has grad­u­ally gone off the boil since then, cul­mi­nat­ing in the re­cent rev­e­la­tion he has me­tab­o­lism dis­or­der.

“Pro­vided his treat­ment goes pos­i­tively, Goetze can start again with per­for­mance-ori­en­tated train­ing in early sum­mer,” Dort­mund said.

“The over­all sport­ing goal for the player is to be fully op­er­a­tional for the start of next sea­son,” which starts on Aug 18 in Ger­many.

The Dort­mund web­site said: “good news for Mario Goetze: Borus­sia Dort­mund’s Ger­many in­ter­na­tional speaks pos­i­tively about the first phase of his treat­ment,” but in­cluded no di­rect quotes.

Last month, Dort­mund, who have reached the Cham­pi­ons League’s quar­ter-fi­nals, re­vealed tests to see why Goetze had been suf­fer­ing from re­peated in­jury and a lack of form had shown up ‘meta­bolic dis­tur­bances’.

Goetze, who has won 62 caps for Ger­many, was then sent for spe­cial­ist help and Borus­sia’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said it would not be a “short-term is­sue.”

Last July, Dort­mund paid €22 mil­lion (RM103.5 mil­lion) to buy Goetze back from Bay­ern Mu­nich, hav­ing been forced to sell him in 2013 for €37 mil­lion af­ter the Bavar­i­ans trig­gered a re­lease clause.

How­ever, poor form and in­jury meant he has played just six games over the 90 min­utes this sea­son and he has been a shadow of the player who left Dort­mund in 2013.

Mean­while, Dort­mund an­nounced on Wed­nes­day they have ex­tended the deal of mid­fielder Gon­zalo Cas­tro, 29, un­til 2020.

Cas­tro is the third first-team player Dort­mund have locked into a long term con­tract re­cently af­ter Ju­lian Weigl (un­til 2021) and US teenage in­ter­na­tional Chris­tian Pulisic (2020).

The club have also told Ger­many’s bad-boy World Cup win­ner Kevin Grosskreutz, who hails from Dort­mund, he can train with Borus­sia’s re­serve team af­ter he was sacked in dis­grace by sec­ond divi­sion VfB Stuttgart.

“If he asks us, our an­swer will def­i­nitely be ‘yes’. Kevin will al­ways have a place with us and is part of the Borus­sia Dort­mund fam­ily,” said the club in a state­ment.

Grosskreutz was part of the Ger­many squad who won the 2014 World Cup, but Stuttgart sacked him af­ter he re­port­edly took three youth team play­ers with him on a boozy night out, which ended in a brawl.

He won the Bun­desliga twice dur­ing a suc­cess­ful six-year stint with Dort­mund, who he left in 2015, and also played in their 2013 Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal de­feat to Bay­ern Mu­nich at Wem­b­ley. AFP

Pro­vided his treat­ment goes pos­i­tively, Goetze can start again with per­for­mance-ori­en­tated train­ing in early sum­mer.

Mario Goetze re­joined Borus­sia Dort­mund from Bay­ern Mu­nich last July.

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