Werder Bremen defender Sebastian Boenisch is facing six months on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery.
The 23-year-old's enforced absence is another blow to Werder's beleaguered backline which is already without Naldo and Per Mertesacker.
Boenisch underwent surgery on Monday after nagging knee problems and a follow-up with the specialist will now determine the length of his absence.
Werder tackle Hannover in Bundesliga action on Tuesday and Dominik Schmidt, who is yet to appear this term, could come in for Boenisch.
Meanwhile, Mertesacker's comeback for the club against Hannover has been delayed as he does not feel ready for action.
Mertesacker fractured his eye socket playing for Germany a fortnight ago against Azerbaijan and had expected to play wearing a protective mask.
However, he does not feel ready to play and will consult with doctors regarding when he will be fit and ready to feature.
"I had a 10-day lay-off without training, and I don't feel ready. I just have to wait for the green light from doctors," said Mertesacker.