Dortmund’s Kehl, Bender out against Hoffenheim

Borussia Dortmund midfielders Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender

will miss the defending champion’s Bundesliga game at

Hoffenheim.

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp says both players are definitely

ruled out of Sunday’s league game but could return for Wednesday’s

German Cup match against Hannover.

Kehl is laboring with a knee injury, while Bender’s performances

have dipped since breaking his nose in the Champions League last

month.

Defenders Marcel Schmelzer and Lukasz Piszczek missed Friday’s

training session with minor knocks but are expected to train

normally on Saturday.

Dortmund was 14 points behind league leader Bayern Munich ahead

of the last round of games before the winter break.