Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Kehl could be set for more surgery as his long-standing groin problem has shown little sign of healing.
The former Germany international had an operation on his groin in the summer and had hoped he would be able to enjoy a first injury-free season since joining Dortmund in 2002.
But he has yet to make a single appearance this term as his groin has continued to cause him problems.
He has already ruled himself out of Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich and Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is worried he may have to go under the knife once again.
"It's just not getting any better. Sebastian is going from doctor to doctor without any results,'' he told Bild. "His surgeon is now going to check on the groin again and on Friday he will see another specialist. Hopefully we will know more after then.''
Kehl has made 175 appearances in seven years with Dortmund, suffering several injury setbacks which have hampered his international career.
He has made a total of 31 appearances for Germany, the last of which came in the 2006 World Cup third-place play-off. A further operation would rule him out until at least the New Year.