Tranquillo Barnetta Likely Sidelined Until January With Knee Injury

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - APRIL 10: Tranquillo Barnetta of LEverkusen reacts during the Bundesliga match between Bayer Leverkusen and FC St. Pauli at BayArena on April 10, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bayer Leverkusen and Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta will likely be out until the new year after being forced to have a second surgery on his right knee that was injured last January.

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta will likely be out until January 2012 after it was announced that he will need further surgery on his right knee.

Barnetta, 26, had surgery in January of this year to repair torn cartilage in his right knee after injuring it in a training match against VfL Bochum. He was able to return for seven matches at the end of the season. The injury flared up again during the preseason, and now he is forced to have surgery.

If he is sidelined until January, the Swiss international will miss the entire group stage of the UEFA Champions League. For Leverkusen this was already a difficult group consisting of Chelsea, Valencia and Genk. Without the services of Barnetta, it could be a long four months for the German club.

The Swiss national team will also be without his service during their three remaining qualifiers for Euro 2012. Switzerland still have the opportunity to finish second in the group and qualify for the playoffs. In their remaining matches they will host Bulgaria and Montenegro and travel to Wales.

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