Stuttgart have been dealt a blow in their fight against relegation from the Bundesliga after midfielder Serey Die suffered a season-ending injury.
A 2-2 draw at the weekend against Darmstadt left Jurgen Kramny's side six points clear of the bottom three, but the result came at a cost as Die, 31, was forced to undergo surgery on a ruptured tendon on Tuesday.
The Ivory Coast international has been ruled out of Stuttgart's last six games of the campaign as a result.
Sporting director Robin Dutt told the club's official website: "This news is a bitter blow for us. Serey Die is one of our greatest fighters.''
- VfB Stuttgart_int (@VfB_int) April 5, 2016
Stuttgart have already moved to strengthen their squad ahead of next season with the signing of Jean Zimmer from Kaiserslautern.
The defender will join at the end of the season after agreeing a four-year deal.
Dutt said: "Jean is a quick player with a really good mentality, who can play in a number of different positions. We have been observing his progress extensively for quite some time and we firmly believe he will continue his positive development further at VfB.''