Stuttgart must make do without the services captain Christian Gentner after the midfielder sustained multiple facial fractures following a collision with Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels on Saturday.

There were only a few minutes left on the clock when the 32-year-old challenged for a header in the Wolfsburg penalty area when he was inadvertently struck by Casteels' knee as the goalkeeper came to clear the high ball.

Gentner remained prone on the ground after the incident and received treatment for several minutes on the pitch before being stretchered off. As head coach Hannes Wolf had already used all three substitutes by that point, the Swabians were forced to play with ten men – but still managed to hang on to record a valuable 1-0 victory.

Gentner was immediately taken to hospital, where extensive examinations revealed he had broken his nose, upper jaw and bones around his eye socket. On Tuesday, he underwent a successful operation on his injuries.

"The game was overshadowed by the situation with Christian," said Wolf afterwards. "We were all in shock and are thoughts are now with our captain. We hope he'll get well soon."

No time frame has yet been given for a return to action, but Gentner is expected to make a full recovery.

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