Leverkusen star Wirtz suffers torn cruciate ligament
Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 1-0 Bundesliga defeat to Cologne on Sunday.
The 18-year-old is expected to be out of action for several months after an MRI scan showed the extent of the damage to his left knee.
The attacking midfielder twisted awkwardly on the turf just 28 minutes into the game at the BayArena, which was settled by Kingsley Schindler's second-half goal.
Wirtz is one of the highest-rated young players in Europe and has been linked with transfers to the likes of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
He already has four senior caps for Germany, having made his debut last September, and would have been in contention to make the squad for the 2022 World Cup.
With 10 goals and 14 assists, Wirtz has the most direct goal involvements among players under the age of 21 in 2021-22 across Europe's top five leagues.
Leverkusen are third in the Bundesliga, a point ahead of Freiburg and Hoffenheim.