Stuttgart defender Georg Niedermeier looks set to miss the opening few weeks of the Bundesliga season with a ligament injury.
The German was forced to withdraw during his side’s 0-0 UEFA Europa League draw with Botev Plovdiv on Thursday after a challenge for the ball.
After an initial observation, inner ligament damage was highlighted as the problem, with the 27-year-old due to undergo an MRI scan on Friday.
An exact diagnosis will be revealed following the scan, but early predictions from the club in a statement are that it “could force the defender out for several weeks”.
The former Bayern Munich defender has made 90 appearances in the Bundesliga for Stuttgart, including 25 starts in what was a disappointing season for Bruno Labbadia’s men last term.
Stuttgart could only muster a 12th-place finish although they qualified for the Europa League thanks to an appearance in the DFB-Pokal final.
Labbadia’s men get their Bundesliga campaign under way on Sunday with a trip to Mainz.