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Serbia defender Nastasic doubtful for World Cup

Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga

DORTMUND, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) Shinji Kagawa of Dortmund and Matija Nastasic of Schalke battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 at Signal Iduna Park on February 28, 2015 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for MAN)

Sascha Steinbach

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) Schalke and Serbia defender Matija Nastasic has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering cruciate ligament damage to his right knee.

Nastasic went off in the closing stages of Schalke’s defeat to Hamburger SV on Saturday and the club says Thursday’s diagnosis means the 25-year-old will be out for eight to 12 weeks.

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Schalke says, “Whether he will feature for Serbia at the World Cup this summer in Russia is still unclear.”

Nastasic has played a key role in ensuring Schalke has the joint second-best defensive record in the league this season. Only Bayern Munich, the champion, has conceded fewer goals.