Borussia Dortmund and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will likely not return to football action until after the winter break from a long-term back injury.
Gundogan has been sidelined since mid-August with a nerve irritation that is yet to disappear, and he said on Tuesday he will not rush back to action.
“It is difficult to name a date, I have no goal. It is important that I will be 100 per cent fit. Before that I won’t return,” he said.
“It is important for me that it is completely cured ... I am satisfied with the development. A nerve irritation is always a long-term affair,” Gundogan said, vowing to “return stronger.”
Dortmund rank second in the league, four points behind treble winners Bayern Munich, who they host Saturday in a Bundesliga topper.
The Bundesliga winter break starts before Christmas and runs until late January.