Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer could face six months on the sidelines as he recovers from surgery on his broken foot.
The 31-year-old suffered a hairline fracture of the metatarsal in his left foot in a training session before undergoing successful surgery last month.
“There’s tissue repair going on inside the foot – this can last up to six months,” Manuel Neuer told FC Bayern TV.
“It hasn’t been easy for me and I am longing to be back on the pitch.”
The World Cup winner has played just four games for Bayern this season, with former Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich deputising in his absence.
Bayern Munich have endured a tumultuous start to the 2017/18 campaign, seeing Carlo Ancelotti dismissed after a mediocre start to the Bundesliga, while a 3-0 hammering from Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League did him no favours.
Former treble-winner Jupp Heynckes has since been announced as his successor, taking charge of the club until the end of the season.