Wolfsburg defender Arne Friedrich could miss up to three months of the season due to needing surgery on a herniated disc.
The Germany international only joined the Bundesliga club this summer from relegated Hertha Berlin for £2million and played in the 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich on the opening day on Friday.
The 32-year-old signed a three-year deal with the club after an excellent World Cup with the national team, in which they finished in third place.
However after suffering with the problem for some time, Friedrich conceded that he must undergo surgery now to extend his career and to be at optimum fitness.
"We have tried to come to grips with the pains via various treatments recently," Friedrich told Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.
"But looking at the way the pains have progressed, a surgery appears to be absolutely essential.
"I am unaware how long I am going to be out of action, this can only be predicted after the imminent surgery."