Hannover 96 midfielder Leon Andreasen will be sidelined for six months after tearing cruciate ligaments in his right knee during Wednesday's 4-1 home win over Nurnberg.
The setback is a bitter blow for Andreasen, 29, who had been playing superbly after returning to first-team action following months on the sidelines with injuries.
Some 28 months after his last Bundesliga appearance, on April 4 2010, the Dane was back in action at the start of this campaign, scoring three goals in the Europa League qualifiers and two in the Bundesliga. But Hannover's new pitch brought an end to his comeback. The surface had needed to be relaid after a recent Coldplay gig, and Andreasen tore his ligaments when his studs became caught in the surface.
Speaking after the match on Wednesday, Hannover coach Mirko Slomka had said he feared the worst, and a scan confirmed those fears the following day.
"He's got such a long history of injuries - it's sad," Slmoka said. "I sincerely wish him all the best. But it also hits us hard, because we have to replace a great player. Over the first matches Leon has shown everything - great in one-on-one situations, dynamic and dangerous in front of goal."
Andreasen vowed to fight on, saying: "I suspected that something was damaged in my knee. The diagnosis came as no surprise to me. Certainly this is a bitter blow, but I look ahead and am convinced I can come back yet again."
The player is in the last year of his contract, and has featured in only 22 Bundesliga matches for Hannover in three and a half years.