Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder has been ruled out of Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Hoffenheim through injury.
The 31-year-old tore a groin muscle in the game with SV Sandhausen in the DFB Pokal on Tuesday night, in his first competitive start of the campaign.
The former Real Madrid defender had to be withdrawn at half time and later confirmed the severity of his injury on the club's official website.
He said: "I'm afraid I have a torn muscle in the groin area."
Metzelder, who won the last of his 47 caps for Germany in their Euro 2008 final defeat to Spain, is now a major doubt for Schalke's Champions League clash with Arsenal next Tuesday.
He joined Schalke from Real Madrid from 2010 and has subsequently made 48 league appearances for Die Königsblauen, scoring two goals.