Schalke's Breel Embolo set to miss rest of season after ankle surgery
Schalke forward Breel Embolo could miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season after suffering an ankle injury in the club's 1-1 draw at Augsburg on Saturday, the Royal Blues announced on Sunday.
Embolo, 19, suffered the injury in a challenge with defender Konstantinos Stafylidis and was initially ruled out for the rest of 2016 with a broken ankle. On Sunday, the Switzerland international underwent surgery at the Hessingpark Clinic in Augsburg which revealed his injury to be worse than expected.
"Not only did the foul by Augsburg's Kostas Stafylidis lead to a complicated ankle fracture, a rupture to Embolo's syndesmosis and medial collateral ligament were also discovered," Schalke said on their official website, adding that the player "will be out of action for between at least four and six months."
"Everyone at Schalke is shocked by the injury. We've all seen how strongly Breel identifies with the club and, at just 19 years of age, has already developed into a very important player," Royal Blues sporting director Christian Heidel said.
Following yesterday's Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and FC Schalke 04, Kostas Stafylidis took to Instagram to apologise to 19 year-old Swiss forward Breel Embolo, after a dangerous tackle led to him suffering a horrifying injury (broken ankle) which will see him out of action until the end of the year. Get well soon, Breel and respect to Kostas for apologising! ���� #Greece���� #Greek #Football #Stafylidis #Augsburg #Embolo #Schalke
Stafylidis, meanwhile, issued an apology to Embolo on his Instagram account. "I want to apologise to Breel Embolo and FC Schalke," he said. "I always play aggressively against the ball, but I never intend to injure my opponent. I have the greatest respect for my opponents and for football, and that's why I never play unfair."
Schalke, who have only picked up four points from their first seven league games, could run into even more injury trouble with kicker reporting that winger Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting suffered a knee injury in the Augsburg match.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.