Schalke have confirmed that defender Jan Kirchhoff will be out for several weeks with an ankle injury.
Kirchhoff, who can also feature in midfield, joined Schalke on loan from Bayern Munich in December in an attempt to secure more first-team football.
But the 23-year-old is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after Schalke announced that the former Mainz player had torn ligaments in his ankle in an injury sustained at the club's mid-season training camp in Qatar.
A statement on Schalke's official website read: "Jan Kirchhoff underwent a further examination on Tuesday after his premature departure from the club's mid-season training camp.
"An MRI scan conducted by Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt in Munich revealed that the new signing, who injured his right ankle in a challenge on the second day of training in Qatar, has torn the anterior syndesmotic ligament.
"As a result of the diagnosis Kirchhoff will undergo surgery in Tubingen on Wednesday. The 23-year-old defensive player will be out of action for several weeks."comments