Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is reportedly facing a spell of up to three months on the sidelines after club doctors confirmed that he needs an operation due to tendonitis in his right ankle.
Schweinsteiger had surgery to correct an ankle problem at the end of last season, but a similar injury has now flared up and forced Bayern's medical staff to concede that the German international must have a further procedure.
Bayern's chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt confirmed the news in an official press release on the club's website, which read: "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.
"This is causing tendonitis due to mechanical stress."
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola had hoped that intensive treatment would avoid the need for surgery, but Schweinsteiger himself admitted earlier this week that he is no longer able to play through the pain barrier.
The 29-year-old is unlikely to feature for Bayern until after the winter break, forcing Guardiola to replace a midfield linchpin for the rest of 2013.