Schalke's 2013 hasn't started off so well. After news that Lewis Holtby would not be signing a contract extension, the club announced that Ibrahim Afellay will be out for "at least two months" after suffering a tear to a muscle in his thigh. Schalke are currently in Qatar for winter training, and Afellay will return to Germany on Tuesday to begin his rehab program.
Afellay, 26, hasn't played a game for Schalke since November 10 due to a hamstring injury. He appeared in fifteen matches in all competitions scoring four goals and picking up one assist. The midfielder joined Schalke this summer on loan from Barcelona where he only made five appearances last season.
Schalke didn't fare well in the six matches that Afellay missed. While he wouldn't have given them the help they needed defensively, possession in the midfield would've been much better, and they likely manage more goals. Schalke managed only two points and were outscored 5-13 in those matches.