Ikay Gundogan return delayed

Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan lies on the ground during a game with Augsburg on August 10, 2013
© Getty Images
Borussia Dortmund admit that Ilkay Gundogan's back problem has not cleared up and will keep him out for longer than expected.

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has conceded that Ilkay Gundogan's return from a back injury has been delayed further.

Gundogan has featured just once for Dortmund this season after suffering a stress fracture in his lower back, a problem he aggravated further during the early weeks of the campaign.

The 22-year-old was initially expected to spend six weeks on the sidelines and return to first-team action in early October, but Zorc has admitted that the playmaker is still not back in full training.

He told Kicker: "It drags on. Ilkay is far from getting back to football-specific training."

Jurgen Klopp's side have coped well without the German international in the Bundesliga this season, topping the table alongside Bayern Munich with 19 points from a possible 21.

Borussia Dortmund's Jonas Hofmann is congratulated by team mates Robert Lewandowski and Henrikh Mkhitaryan after scoring the opening goal against Eintracht Braunschweig on August 18, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Borussia DortmundDortmund11003033
2Bayern Munich11003123
3Hertha Berlin11002023
4Schalke 04Schalke11002023
5Hannover11001013
6Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach11001013
7Hamburger SV11001013
8Hoffenheim11001013
9Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt10100001
10Freiburg10100001
11Augsburg100101-10
12FC Koln100101-10
13Mainz 05100101-10
14Werder Bremen100101-10
15Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen100113-20
16RB Leipzig100102-20
17Stuttgart100102-20
18Wolfsburg100103-30