Hertha Berlin's John Brooks out vs. Leverkusen with shin bruise

John Brooks is set to miss Hertha Berlin's match at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, coach Pal Dardai has confirmed.

The United State defender has struggled for fitness since the Bundesliga match against Ingolstadt prior to the last international break. He missed both U.S. national team World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala as well as two league matches for his club.

While he played on Matchday 30 at Hoffenheim and in the Cup defeat to Dortmund last week, Brooks missed Hertha's Bundesliga meeting with Champions League semifinalist Bayern Munich last Saturday.

Ongoing shin problems could now also rule out the 23-year-old for the upcoming Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen.

Although Brooks is set to resume training with the Hertha squad this week, coach Pal Dardai has little hope the defender can help his side pick up crucial points at third-placed Leverkusen.

He told reporters: "It is planned that John returns to training on Wednesday or Thursday. But for Leverkusen it won't be enough. John is a tall player, who needs decent time on the training pitch."

A drop in form in recent weeks has seen Hertha fall from third to fourth in the standings. This would still be enough to reach the Champions League playoffs, but Borussia Monchengladbach, who travel to Bayern this weekend, have managed to close the gap to just one point. Mainz and Schalke are also left in the race for the playoff spot, but have already fallen behind by four points.

Bayer Leverkusen, who will host Hertha on Saturday, have opened a five-point gap on the capital club, and at the weekend already could qualify for Champions League if they beat Berlin and Gladbach also lose to Bayern Munich.

Roger Schmidt's team have won six consecutive Bundesliga matches, scoring 14 goals and conceding only two.

However, they were dealt an injury blow on Tuesday when left-back Wendell, 22, suffered a torn ligament in his right ankle in training.

The Brazilian won't be able to add to his 28 Bundesliga appearances this season, Leverkusen said on their official website. A statement read: "The season has come to a premature end for left-back Wendell."