Borussia Dortmund are clinging to a small hope that Mario Gotze will be fit for the Champions League final later this month.
German international Gotze damaged a thigh muscle in the first half of Dortmund’s nail biting semi-final second leg match against Real Madrid earlier this week, and could not complete the game.
And now the 20-year-old faces a race to recover in time for what would be a dramatic last match for Dortmund, before joining the very team they meet in the final at Wembley.
"Mario Gotze tore a muscle in his thigh in the Champions League return leg at Real Madrid on Tuesday," a Dortmund statement said on Thursday.
"According to [club doctor] Dr Braun, returning to fitness for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich at Wembley is a realistic goal."
Dortmund will be over the moon if exciting midfielder Gotze recovers in time.
He is their best player, and their chances of beating their great local rivals Bayern in the biggest match of their history will greatly improve if Gotze plays.
As defender Mats Hummels explained, even after Dortmund managed to see off Madrid’s determined effort this week, Gotze’s injury was still foremost in their minds.
"Mario is one of the best ten players in the world, maybe even higher than that," Hummels said.
"It [his injury] was a shock. I did not sleep that night."