Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could miss the remainder of the season having been ruled out of Germany’s forthcoming friendly matches with a knee ligament injury.
The 31-year-old only returned to action for the Red Devils earlier in March having spent nearly two months on the sidelines with a knee problem, missing 13 games in the process.
The German captain came on in Sunday’s 1-0 derby win over Manchester City before linking up with Joachim Low’s squad ahead of friendlies against England and Italy.
But, after a tackle at the end of training on Tuesday, Schweinsteiger missed Wednesday’s session to travel to Munich for scans on his knee.
The German Football Association has since confirmed he has suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament, immediately ruling him out of the upcoming matches and, with the midfielder now heading back to Manchester to continue his treatment, the injury is likely to keep him sidelined for much longer.
Depending on the damage, Schweinsteiger could be out for the rest of the campaign, while he may also be left sweating on his fitness ahead of this summer’s European Championships.
“World Champion Bastian Schweinsteiger has been ruled out of the friendlies against England on Saturday in Berlin (20:45 CET) and Italy on Tuesday in Munich (20:45 CET),” a statement on dfb.de read.
“The 31-year-old captain suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee following a challenge at the end of training on Tuesday afternoon.
“The diagnosis was confirmed following an MRI scan at the practice of team doctor Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt in Munich earlier today.
“Treatment will be carried out by the medical team at his club Manchester United, in coordination with the Germany national team’s doctors.”
Schweinsteiger has made 31 appearances for United since joining from Bayern Munich last summer and scored his only goal to date in November’s 1-1 draw with current Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester.
He joins a lengthy injury list at Old Trafford with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young and Phil Jones already absent.
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil was also absent from training on Wednesday after hurting his ankle in the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday – with Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi missing due to his own foot problem.