For Borussia Dortmund, it's deja vu.
A season after dealing with injuries to key players like Lukasz Piszczek, Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic, Marcel Schmelzer, Sven Bender, Ilkay Gundogan, Sebastian Kehl and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at one point or another, the club was hoping to stay relatively healthy this season. But that goal hasn't gotten off to a promising start, as key midfielder Nuri Sahin is set to miss a major chunk of time with a knee injury.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin underwent knee surgery at Isar Park Hospital in Plattling (Bavaria) on Wednesday.
Sahin's surgery, performed by specialist Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Eichhorn, involved the removal of inflamed tissue in his left knee. According to BVB team doctor Markus Braun, the recovery period for the Turkey international is expected to be approximately two months.
Sahin now joins Gundogan, Schmelzer and Jakub Blaszczykowski on the sideline. The injury bug has already started biting for Dortmund again.
Sahin was excellent for Dortmund a year ago, appearing in 34 Bundesliga games and scoring two goals, notching two assists and earning an impressive 7.45 average match rating from WhoScored.com. He averaged an excellent 3.5 tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 1.2 key passes per game while completing a total of 79.5 passes per game.
With Gundogan missing almost the entire season and Bender missing a large chunk, too, Sahin's role in the center of midfield was hugely important for Dortmund. Clearly, he responded in a big way.
For Sahin, his time at Dortmund has been a revival of sorts. After starting with Dortmund but struggling during stints with both Liverpool and Real Madrid, the Turkish midfielder has been revitalized at Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp. It's the sort of transformation that Stefan Bienkowski of Bleacher Report U.K. thinks could happen for another player who recently returned to the club, Shinji Kagawa:
Who said you can never go home again?
Sahin's loss is a big one for Dortmund, and the team will have to call on its impressive depth to replace the impact he has had on the club. With Bayern Munich looming atop the Bundesliga and a Champions League campaign beckoning, Dortmund needed all hands on deck.
But much like last year, injuries have already made themselves a storyline this season. The hope for the club will be that Sahin's injury blow is the last one the team will have to deal with for some time.