Berlin - Captain Marco Reus played through the pain barrier to inspire Borussia Dortmund to a 4-0 win over Freiburg on Sunday and keep them hot on the heels of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
Reus picked up a knock to his knee under a heavy challenge from Freiburg's Janik Haberer in the second half, but fired Dortmund to victory with a goal and two assists to keep them a point behind Bayern.
Dortmund were under pressure to pick up three points after title rivals Bayern beat Werder Bremen 1-0 on Saturday.
Far from buckling under the pressure, however, Dortmund delivered one of their most confident performances in recent weeks to fight their way past Freiburg in a nail-biting title race.
A silky move in the box saw Dortmund take the lead 12 minutes in, with Raphael Guerreiro and Marco Reus linking up to provide Jadon Sancho with a tap-in.
Guerreiro, returning to action after two weeks out injured, then set up Reus for Dortmund's second eight minutes after half-time.
Lucien Favre's side then survived a handful of chances for Freiburg before a brutal counter-attack saw Reus set up Mario Goetze to make it 3-0.
Paco Alcacer completed a perfect afternoon for Dortmund, converting a late penalty after a Pascal Stenzel handball.
Dortmund face local rivals Schalke in the Ruhr derby next Saturday, before Bayern travel to take on Nuremberg the following day.