Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender will undergo an ankle operation next week and miss the rest of the season, head coach Tayfun Korkut has said.
Bender, a 27-year-old Germany international, has not featured since suffering the injury in a defeat at Borussia Dortmund on March 4.
"Lars has not made a decisive improvement lately, even though he had a few days of absolute rest," Korkut said at a news conference ahead of the home Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg.
Gute Besserung Lars #Bender! ��
Für unseren Kapitän ist die Saison beendet - er wird nächste Woche am Sprunggelenk operiert. pic.twitter.com/2b39nx5gO8
- Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04fussball) March 31, 2017
"It is simply important to us that the matter is now settled quickly and clearly. It is nothing major, in the operating room. The inflamed tissue will be removed."
Bender added: "Of course, it's bitter when you get such an injury. However, I am absolutely positive about the matter, as I have reached a point where it was no longer possible to play.
"I'm looking forward to playing again."