Reports from BILD this week suggested that Felix Nmecha, despite an extended period of time on the injury table, does not currently have a return date in sight. After picking up an injury in the league match against Stuttgart, Nmecha has not seen competitive action for BVB. As Dortmund’s marquee summer signing, expectations were set high for the German midfielder, but BVB fans would be forgiven for forgetting he was a member of the team given the length of his absence.
Nmecha went down in the 63rd minute of the match with hip pain, and unfortunately for him, that pain has not completely dulled after several months on the sideline.
Nmecha will certainly be frustrated with the start to his BVB career, especially the timing of his injury. In the match away to Newcastle, Nmecha had finally found a bit of rythmn, turning in a solid performance (and his first goal) in a high stakes matchday. This came after a series of introductions as a substitute, where he struggled to get into the match off the bench. Still, two assists in so few games is promising. Other than that, we really do not know what Nmecha can offer to BVB.
Nmecha has missed 12 matches since joining BVB; one in August, one in October, and ten since picking up his current injury (Transfermarkt). Players like Marcel Sabitzer and Salih Özcan have had to step up and shoulder a significant portion of the burden, with Dortmund’s midfield ranks relatively thin, especially in ball progression.
It is worth noting that during his two year spell at Wolfsburg, Nmecha missed one match in 2021, and three matches (over an English week) in 2023. Calling him injury-prone at this stage is harsh, seeing as there is little historical evidence to suggest that Nmecha cannot handle the rigors of the Bundesliga season. There is a standout injury from his time in the Manchester City youth program, where he missed a whopping 122 days for an unknown problem, but I would imagine BVB had clarity on the source of that issue before making a €30 million transfer.
Nmecha’s injury has significantly hampered his transfer to BVB, and his currently inability to shake it is seriously concerning. Hips, knees, and ankles are fickle and can be difficult to treat. While there has been no discussion of a more serious intervention like surgery, should that be on the table, BVB should weigh their options between carrying an unfit player through the season, and helping him solve the issue completely—even if it means losing him until the summer.