The diagnosis for SV Darmstadt 98 midfielder Marvin Mehlem has proven a grim one indeed.
Mehlem started all 13 of Darmstadt's league fixtures and was widely regarded to be among the best players in the squad. With three league goals and two assists, the 27-year-old was tied with Tobias Kempe for the lead in scorer points on the roster. Kempe served as Mehlem's replacement last night.
Mehlem, Kempe, and Tim Skarke are among three players in Torsten Lieberknecht's squad to have scored three goals thus far this season. Liberknecht has still only gotten one league tally out of his striker corps. Oscar Vilhelmsson has scored once while none of the four others have.
The nature of the injury naturally sidelines the Karlsruhe-native for the rest of the calendar year. It remains quite possible that Mehlem won't be available again until the end of the season. A return before March seems out of the question.
"This is incredibly bitter news for us," SV98 sporting director Carsten Wehlmann noted in a statement accompanying the news, "because there's no doubt about Marvin's importance to our game. He's played outstanding games so far this season, so it's all the more annoying that he's now out for longer."
"We will deal with this challenge and find solutions," Wehlman continued, "I have full confidence in Torsten and his coaching team."