Koo Ja-cheol of Augsburg in Germany's Bundesliga will miss Korea's 2014 World Cup Asian qualifying match against Uzbekistan next Tuesday due to an injured ankle.
"Koo sustained an injury to his right ankle in the first half of the [league] game against Schalke 04 on Sunday, and we are discussing whether he will require surgery," his agent said on Tuesday.
Augsburg also announced that Koo will be out of action for a while, following the medical diagnosis.
An operation would likely leave him sidelined for at least three months, while rehabilitation in lieu of surgery is expected to take around six weeks. This comes as bad news for the national team as it now has a gap to plug in central midfield, which Koo -- who also doubles as a shadow striker -- has made his own.
Koo moved to Augsburg on a loan from Wolfsburg in February and helped his new team escape relegation.
As the captain of Korea's Olympic football team, he played a crucial role in winning the country's first-ever medal in the sport -- a bronze -- in London last month.
But Koo had no time to rest after the London Games as he had to return to his club. His hectic schedule seems to have played a role in his injury.