Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg will not play again this year as the Dutch defender was confirmed to have suffered a serious ankle injury at Schalke.
Van den Berg caught his left foot in the grass while attempting a challenge during Schalke’s 3-2 loss to Augsburg on Sunday, and the youngster had to be stretchered off.
He was later transferred to Gelsenkirchen hospital and, after undergoing tests for the injury, it has now been confirmed that he has suffered a serious ligament injury.
In a statement on Monday night, Schalke explained that Van den Berg will not be able to participate in any more games before the end of the year.
The German club only has to play eight more times before the World Cup break, starting with a trip to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and ending with a visit to Bayern Munich on November 12.
Of course, the timing of Van den Berg’s injury could have been worse in this regard, but it remains to be seen how long his break extends to 2023.
Schalke return to action after the winter break on January 21 and are likely to play a series of friendlies before then to regain their form and sharpness.
It remains to be confirmed whether Van den Berg will require ankle surgery, or whether he will return to his parent club for treatment.
The 20-year-old had made a brilliant start at Schalke as he agreed to a season-long loan move at the end of the transfer window, starting each of his first four games.
But now he will have to catch up on his return, as coach Frank Kramer left with two fit senior centre-backs in Maya Yoshida and Leo Greiml.
Van den Berg isn’t the only Liverpool loan currently sidelined as Paul Glatzel faces indefinite injury after re-injuring his hamstring at Tranmere, while the Blackpool defender’s return date is unknown. Rhys Williams for a shin problem.