Bayern Munich will have to make do without the services of Bastian Schweinsteiger for a while as the influential midfielder is set to undergo ankle surgery.
The Germany international, 29, already went under the knife on his right ankle during the summer, but the problem has recurred and he will now have to be operated upon once more.
"In the course of medical check-ups in recent weeks we have diagnosed progressive post-operative ossification in the area around Bastian Schweinsteiger’s right ankle," Bayern doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said. "This is causing tendonitis due to mechanical stress."
Schweinsteiger, meanwhile, has insisted that the injury caused him too much pain in recent weeks and he is now hopeful that a second surgery will help him shake off the problem permanently.
"The past few weeks have been quite painful for me," he said. "I have tried over and over again, but I'm at a point now where surgery can no longer be avoided. I hope that I will be without pain when I play football after the operation."
Coach Pep Guardiola also expressed his regret that the veteran Bayern star will be sidelined, but did not confirm or deny suggestions that he could be out for the rest of 2013.
"I am very sad," the Bavarians boss said in a press conference on Friday. "He has helped us a lot. He has worked incredibly hard, he did everything he could [for his comeback after surgery in the summer]. To coach him is a dream. But he is in pain."
The midfielder has made 10 Bundesliga appearances so far this season, scoring once.