Schalke will be without Klass-Jan Huntelaar for their Europa League clash with Sparta Prague as Andre Breitenreiter rests the Netherlands international.
Huntelaar was an unused substitute in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, and will continue to be protected to avoid worsening a hip injury.
Breitenreiter confirmed the 32-year-old – who has scored three goals in two Europa League matches – had done some light training ahead of Thursday’s clash, but officially ruled him out of contention to face Sparta.
“Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will not join us on Thursday night,” he said. “We don’t want to take any risks with him.
“Huntelaar did some running exercises yesterday. We hope that he will be available for us at the weekend.”
Schalke go into the Group K clash with a 100 per cent record from their opening two matches, but Breitenreiter is taking nothing for granted against their Czech opponents.
He added: “We are favourites but we know how good Sparta are.
“They’re a top side. Sparta are the Czech leaders. They will stay compact and are strong down the left. We have to be wary.”