Marco Höger looks set to spend the next few months on the sideline,s after it was confirmed that the midfielder had partially torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
The injury occurred after a tackle with Albin Ekdal on Saturday evening, during Schalke 04's 1-0 win over Hamburger SV. The 26-year-old was only on the pitch for three minutes, as Leroy Sané - who replaced him - scored the goal to keep up the Royal Blues' pressure on Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
Another injury setback for the midfielder
Höger's worst fears were realised on Sunday after an MRI scan revealed the extent of the problem. Dr. Ulrich Boenisch will now continue the investigations into his injury on Monday to see if any surgery will be necessary, or if he can go through a course of rehab to avoid going under the knife. In any case, the Schalke website announced that he would be out for "the foreseeable future".
This is the third serious knee injury he has suffered in the last two years, after tearing his right ACL back in 2013 against Eintracht Braunschweig. More knee trouble followed last season, as well as ankle problems, and now this latest setback.
Plenty of options to replace Höger
Schalke are well-positioned to cope with this injury, however. The arrivals of Johannes Geis and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg have added much needed depth to the central midfield zone, while Leon Goretzka and Roman Neustädter have been in fine form this season. Sascha Reither and Dennis Aogo can also be used in the middle of the park, if push comes to shove.
The three points against HSV seen Schalke secure their fifth win in a row, in all competitions. Only SV Darmstadt 98 (1-1) and VfL Wolfsburg (0-3) have taken points off André Breitenreiter's men. They'll be hoping to continue that run, as they to 1. FC Köln this weekend but are in European action against Asteras Tripolis beforehand.