German Bundesliga club Schalke received some bad news on October 31 when they found out star player Julian Draxler may be sidelined until early in 2015. The midfielder limped off the pitch during the first minute of his team’s 1-0 victory over Augsburg due to a hamstring injury. Draxler originally injured the muscle back in September while on international duty for Germany and it appears he has now aggravated it. Horst Heldt, the general manager of Schalke, is prepared to do without the 21-year-old player until at least January.

Heldt told the media, “He was again injured and it looks like a serious muscle injury. I do not expect Julian to play any more in this first half of the season.” However, Heldt remarked that the club is trying to re-sign Dutch international striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar so they don’t lose him in the January transfer window. Heldt said, “There has been a conversation, and it was a good conversation. We will now go into detail. We have a schedule with his advisor and will settle this in peace as we have done in the past.”

New Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo has now led his squad to three wins in four games since he took over from Jens Keller. Huntelaar scored the only goal against Augsburg in the first half, but most of the post-game talk concerned the injury to Draxler. Defender Jan Kirchhoff, who was playing his first match since injuring his knee in August, said, “It’s unpleasant for the whole team, especially when it happens right at the beginning of a game. Julian is an important part of the team. We struggled after that and needed a bit of time to recover.”

Di Matteo will now have to get by without the services of Draxler as well as Joel Matip and Jefferson Farfan, who are also out with leg injuries. The manager stated, “Losing Julian Draxler extends our injury list even further. It’s a real blow. We’re still waiting on a more concrete diagnosis. We can still improve our playing style but you can’t forget that we’re missing nine players at the moment. We have to deal with that first of all.”

photo-dailyexpress.co.uk