Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro could be injured for the rest of the year after it was identified that he has torn ligaments in his right knee.
The veteran striker has been clinical since he joined the German side in 2009 and he has continued similar form this season by being the club's top goal-scorer.
The ex-Chelsea player underwent a scan on Tuesday which confirmed the injury and the Peruvian is devastated by the news.
"Sadly, the scan showed something up," Pizarro said to the Kreiszeitung Syke newspaper. "It's the inner ligaments of my knee. This is such bad timing, it's terrible."
The 33-year-old has scored 11 goals in 12 games this season but it looks unlikely that he will improve his record until next year. "It could take a week, but it could take two or three or even four," Pizarro said.
Thomas Schaaf's side will face Stuttgart on Friday before ending 2011 with matches against Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Schalke.
"This injury comes at a bad time," said general manager Klaus Allofs. "But we have to ensure that we compensate for it.
"Sometimes it can be the case that when you have somebody playing so dominantly like Claudio then the others remain almost statuesque in the shadows. Now they have to emerge and try to take their chance."