Eintracht Frankfurt have confirmed that reliable defender Jesus Vallejo will the miss the rest of the campaign with a thigh injury.
The 20-year-old Spaniard has been one of their top performers this season, with a string of impressive and consistent performances at the heart of defence.
Only three teams in the Bundesliga boast a better defensive record than the Eagles, who have conceded 33 goals. FC Bayern München (15), RB Leipzig (30) and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (31) are above them.
As such, Vallejo's absence is a cause of real concern for the club, whose sporting director, Bruno Hubner, said: "The news is a real setback for us heading into a very important part of the season.
"Jesus is an important member of the team and a major force in our defence. He will be tough to replace, but I still have faith in the squad. We wish him a full and speedy recovery, and hope to see him in an Eintracht shirt again."
Vallejo joined Frankfurt on a season-long loan from Real Madrid at the beginning of the season, and has played 25 games in all competitions.
Niko Kovac's side are currently 10th in the league table, just three points off sixth place and a spot in the Europa League.
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