Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze has been ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks with a thigh injury sustained in Germany's Euro 2016 qualifier defeat to Republic of Ireland, the German football federation (DFB) announced on Friday.
Gotze, 23, was substituted in the 35th minute of Thursday night's 1-0 loss in Dublin after overstretching while battling for the ball with James McCarthy.
Germany coach Joachim Low confirmed after the match that Gotze would definitely miss Sunday's home fixture against Georgia, from which the world champions may still need to secure a result to ensure their place at next year's final in France despite still sitting top of Group D.
However, the DFB confirmed via its official Twitter feed on Friday that the player who scored the winning goal in last year's World Cup final may not return to action until the New Year.
- Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) October 9, 2015
"Mario Gotze is expected to be out for 10 to 12 weeks," the tweet read. "Get well soon, Mario Gotze!"
Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is also a doubt for the match against Georgia, from which a defeat could see Low's side rescind an automatic qualifying spot and drop down into the playoff place if Ireland and Poland draw on Sunday.
Gotze could miss up to 14 matches for his club Bayern, including their upcoming Champions League double-header with Arsenal.
Gotze has struggled to consistently replicate the form which made him a star at Borussia Dortmund since moving to Bayern in 2013, but he went into the current international break on the back of scoring three goals in his last six club games.