Ralf Rangnick was simply unable to continue in his role as Schalke coach. That's the assertion of team doctor Thorsten Rarreck, speaking on the day the 53-year-old resigned from his position on health grounds.
Rangnick, who replaced Felix Magath in charge of the club in March this year, is suffering from vegetative burnout, a kind of fatigue syndrome, which has drawn sympathy from everybody at the Bundesliga club.
"It's all about the health of the coach," said the club's general manager Horst Heldt in a press conference earlier on Thursday. "Yesterday evening he told the team that he suffers from fatigue syndrome.
"I have all the respect in the world for Ralf Rangnick. We will accept his decision with a heavy heart and will stay at his side."
Rarreck went on to give a greater insight into the physical ailments from which the coach had been suffering.
"Rangnick is physically on the ropes," said the team doctor. "Hoffenheim cost him a lot of power. It was clear he needed a break.
"The symptoms didn't come along only yesterday. It was not an easy decision for him to leave Schalke. But it's for the good of his health and for the safety of Schalke.
"In his condition he can't help the club anymore."
Heldt refused to comment on who will take over from Rangnick in the long term, or indeed whether the head coach still has a contract at the club as a result of his resignation, but confirmed that Seppo Eichkorn will manage the team on Saturday against Freiburg.