Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda is out for the rest of the season with ligament damage but has escaped a more serious injury, the club confirmed on Wednesday. Malanda had recently forced his way into the first team with Wolfsburg and established himself as a regular under Dieter Hecking, but the 19-year-old Belgian was hurt in the 2-0 German DFB-Pokal semi-final defeat to Borussia Dortmund and left the pitch on a stretcher.
Scans have found that Malanda suffered ligament damage but has avoided a more serious tear which could have sidelined him deep into next season as well. "Junior was lucky," Hecking told the club's official website. "He feared it was a torn ACL and he would have been out for six months. It is a shame but he will be ready for next season. For him, it's a shame because he has earned his place in the team in recent weeks. Other players saw he was a young player ready to take the responsibility."