Borussia Monchengladbach striker Oliver Neuville will be sidelined for around two months with injury.
The 33-year-old German international, who had been dogged by groin problems throughout the first half of the season, will need surgery after picking up an adductor injury in the Foals' first training session after the winter break on Monday.
The news comes as a massive blow to under-pressure Gladbach coach Jupp Heynckes. The five-time Bundesliga champions are currently in the relegation zone following an alarming slump in form.
Neuville will be sorely missed in a Foals strike force that has only managed to hit the target 13 times in 17 league games so far this season.
Better news for Heynckes is that Germany international defender Marcell Jansen has recovered from a knee injury and has returned to full training.
Kaspar Bogelund and Bo Svensson are also due to return to action in the coming days.