Bayer Leverkusen's Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler is expected to miss the rest of 2011 as he recovers from knee surgery, his club coach Robin Dutt revealed today.
The 26-year-old is recovering from a knee operation in July, but Dutt says he does not expect to have Adler back in the team until January, with the Germany shot-stopper set to miss Bayer's remaining UEFA Champions League group matches as a result.
Bayer had originally hoped Adler would be able to play for them in October or November at the latest. As well as Premier League side Chelsea, they also face Spain's Valencia and Belgium's Genk in Group E.
Teenage goalkeeper Bernd Leno, on loan from Stuttgart and who played in Bayer's 2-0 Champions League defeat at Chelsea on Tuesday, is expected to return to his parent club on 1 January 2012 when his loan agreement ends.
"I am assuming Rene won't play for us again in the first half of the season," Dutt told the Cologne Express newspaper, with the Bundesliga set to begin the winter break on 18 December.
Bayer were hammered 4-1 at home by local rivals Cologne in the Bundesliga yesterday as Germany striker Lukas Podolski and Slovenian strike partner Milivoje Novakovic ran riot, with Podolski scoring twice.
Leno was in goal for the game and, despite a good performance, he says he is not tempted to try and extend his stay with Bayer. "Leverkusen is a super club who are in the Champions League, while Stuttgart are not," he said. "I feel very well here, but it's not really for me."
Adler made the last of his ten appearances for Germany in November 2010 during the goalless friendly draw with Sweden, but Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer has been Germany's first-choice keeper since last year's FIFA World Cup™. Germany have already qualified for next summer's UEFA EURO 2012 finals in Ukraine and Poland.