Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule set to miss Euro 2020 after tearing his cruciate ligament in the 2-2 draw with Augsburg in the Bundesliga encounter on Saturday.
The 24-year-old center-back will undergo surgery on Sunday after scans confirmed head coach Niko Kovac's fears of a serious injury that will see him be sidelined for several months.
Sule has been an important player for Bayern Munich since his arrival from Hoffenheim in 2017 and he was a regular fixture in the backline and had started every match for the Bavarians this season.
Speaking on the club's official website after the game, Kovac was upset with the performance but more concerned about his key defender by saying:
"We got off to a bad start. We mustn't let that happen, we had addressed it before the match. Two shots, two goals conceded, I'm annoyed. But Niklas Sule's injury is even worse. It isn't looking good. We must see what's happened, we're hoping for the best."
Sule tore his cruciate ligament in the same knee back in 2014 and is expected to miss rest of the season even possible Euro 2020 next summer as Bayern travel to Greece to play Olympiakos for their Champions League encounter next week before returning to league action at home against Union Berlin on October 26.
Germany are yet to secure their qualification, but victory over Belarus in their next fixture on November 16 would be enough should Northern Ireland fail to beat the Netherlands on the same day.