Double injury blow for Bayer
By Thomas Zeh & Chris Ives
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bayer Leverkusen's Daniel Bierofka and Hanno Balitsch are both facing lay-offs.Bayer Leverkusen duo Daniel Bierofka and Hanno Balitsch are both facing lengthy lay-offs.
Bierofka has been struggling with a back problem and has travelled to Munich for an examination by a specialist.
"We have to assume that an operation on his intervertebral discs will be necessary, but we don't yet know how long he will be out of action," said club physio Dieter Trzolek.
Former German Uner-21 captain Balitsch has a knee injury, which looks likely to require a meniscus operation.
Both players have failed to regularly make Bayer's starting line-up this season, but play important roles in coach Klaus Augenthaler's squad as they attempt to progress in the UEFA Champions League as well as challenge for the Bundesliga title.
Good news for Augenthaler is that Brazilian striker Franca, who missed Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Nurnberg, looks likely to be fit for Wednesday's DFB Cup clash in Bremen.