Bayer Leverkusen will have to make do without the services of captain Lars Bender until the new year after the midfielder underwent successful ankle surgery.
The 26-year-old last featured for Leverkusen as a substitute in their DFB-Pokal win over Viktoria Koln at the end of October.
A club statement read: "Lars Bender has successfully undergone surgery on his right ankle in a hospital in Basel on Tuesday.
"The Leverkusen captain will remain in Switzerland for a week and then start his recovery in Leverkusen.
"An operation had become necessary due to his ongoing problems. Bender will be unavailable for the remainder of 2015."