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Augsburg defender Gouweleeuw suffers collapsed lung

Augsburg have confirmed defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw has undergone a successful operation to repair a collapsed lung.

Gouweleeuw had complained of breathing problems and was examined by the team doctor and pulmonary specialists, the club said in a statement.

Augsburg expect the 25-year-old, who has played every minute of their season, to be unavailable until early 2017.

"The Dutchman suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapse of the lung) and already went under the knife on Thursday," the club said. "According to the doctor, the operation was successful.

"The 25-year-old will almost certainly not be available for [head coach] Dirk Schuster, before the winter break. Gouweleeuw's exact time out on the sidelines depends on how the healing process runs."

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Sporting director Stefan Reuter admitted the loss of Gouweleeuw comes as a big blow to Augsburg, who are already without Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker, Marvin Friedrich, Caiuby, Dominik Kohr and Raul Bobadilla.

"This is a bitter injury both for Jeffrey and the team, particularly as our list of long-term injuries has now increased," he said. 

"However, Jeffrey's health counts the most. We are confident that he will be able to overcome this injury."