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Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes out injured for up to three months

Benedikt Hoewedes #4 of FC Schalke 04 is taken out of the match against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after being injured at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on January 10, 2016 in Kissimmee, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Benedikt Howedes picked up the injury in Schalke's win against Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes is facing a three-month spell on the sidelines, the club have confirmed.

Howedes, 27, was initially expected to return in late February following a muscle injury sustained in the club's winter training camp in Florida.

The Germany centre-back injured his right thigh during the 2-0 win against Fort Lauderdale Strikers last week and immediately returned home, but further examinations revealed Howedes also damaged his tendon.

Schalke will now have to do without their skipper for up to three months, the club's sporting director Horst Heldt confirmed after a 1-0 friendly defeat against second-tier club Arminia Bielefeld.

Coach Andre Breitenreiter told the club's official website: "That's very unfortunate for us because Bene is a very important player, and we'll have to do without him for a number of weeks.

"It will not be that easy to compensate the loss, he's a leader and our captain after all."

The 2014 World Cup winner already missed parts of the first half of the season because of two injuries, starting just eight matches for the Royal Blues this term.

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