Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 continue to count the cost of Wednesday night's 6-1 UEFA Champions League defeat to Real Madrid CF after it was revealed that defender Felipe Santana is set for a spell on the sidelines.
The 27-year-old Brazilian suffered a muscle injury against the men from Madrid and will be out for "a number of weeks" according to head coach Jens Keller, who is also sweating on the fitness of Sead Kolasinac, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Roman Neustädter ahead of the trip to league leaders FC Bayern München on Saturday.
It was after Wednesday's defeat that the extent of Santana's injury was diagnosed. As well as the clash in the Allianz Arena, the former Borussia Dortmund man could also miss games against 1899 Hoffenheim, FC Augsburg and Eintracht Braunschweig, plus the last-16 second leg at the Bernabeu and the Revierderby against his former club BVB on 27 March. "It's very disappointing," commented Keller.
His other afflicted charges stand a better chance of being fit to face the Bavarians in Matchday 23's top game, although they may yet still miss out. Kolasinac injured his jaw on Wednesday. "His skull has been bruised, so we'll have to decide later if he can make Saturday." The case is the same for Boateng (muscle fatigue) and Neustädter (knee), altthough Keller remains optimistic. "I hope they can make it in time, although I won’t risk bringing them back too early."
A losing streak
Definitely out of the game are Marco Höger Dennis Aogo (both knee), Jan Kirchhoff (ankle), Atsuto Uchida (groin) and Christian Clemens (shin). Schalke were beaten 4-0 by Pep Guardiola's men when the sides met earlier in the season on Matchday 6 and go into this weekend's encounter having lost their last 14 games against the Reds.