Japan international forward Shinji Kagawa will undergo surgery on the right foot injury he suffered at the AFC Asian Cup and will miss the rest of the season, his Borussia Dortmund club said on Thursday.
The 21-year-old was substituted in the 87th minute of Japan's penalty shootout victory over Korea Republic in the Asian Cup semi-finals on Tuesday in Qatar and a scan on his return to the German league leaders confirmed a broken metatarsal.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet, it'll take me some time," said Kagawa. "Now I need to try and get back to playing as quickly as I can. I have already had an injury in the same place in 2009 and that was sorted out in a month, but I haven't felt as bad as now.
"We have a good team despite our youth and I have a good feeling that we will win the title," he added.
Dortmund are 11 points ahead of Leverkusen in the Bundesliga with Kagawa having played a major role in the club's success before he left on international duty.
Signed from Japanese second division club Cerezo Osaka for €350,000 last summer, Kagawa has scored seven goals in 18 Bundesliga appearances. "Surgery is needed and Shinji cannot play again this season," said a Dortmund spokesman.
Dortmund said they will not be tempted into the transfer market with young German international Mario Gotze likely to continue in the first team.