Hannover lose skipper Cherundolo
Hannover 96 captain Steven Cherundolo faces a spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his left knee on Wednesday.
Cherundolo, 33, has been a vital part of the Hannover defence this season, starting 15 Bundesliga games and making a total of 28 appearances in all competitions. But he has not played in 2013 and it is hoped keyhole surgery will provide a long-term solution to his knee problem.
A statement on the club's website said Cherundolo will train individually first, though no date has been set for his return to the first team.
Cherundolo joined Hannover from University Of Portland for a fee of just €125,000 in 1999 and helped them earn promotion to the Bundesliga in 2002. He took over the captaincy in 2010 and with 295 Bundesliga appearances is close to overtaking Jurgen Bandura's club record, from 1964 through to 1974, of 298 games.
After earning back to back qualifications for the Europa League, Hannover currently sit 10th in the table and trail the European places by three points. But in only 20 games this season the Leinesiders have conceded 39 goals, the second most in the league. At the weekend Hannover take on the Bundesliga's worst defence - TSG Hoffenheim with 44 goals conceded.