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Wilmots career threatened by ankle injury

© Reuters 2002

BERLIN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Former Belgium captain Marc Wilmots may be forced to end his career because of a serious ankle injury, his German club Schalke 04 said on Tuesday.

"This could mean the end of his career," Schalke commercial manager Rudi Assauer said.

Assauer said he had been informed by Wilmots, currently undergoing treatment in Belgium, that he suffered from damaged ankle cartilage and might be forced to retire.

"We will make a final decision over the next few weeks," said Assauer. Midfielder Wilmots sustained the injury in Schalke's 1-0 Bundesliga victory at Energie Cottbus on Saturday.

The 33-year-old has a contract with the Gelsenkirchen club until the end of the season with an option for another year.

Wilmots, who was member of Schalke's 1997 UEFA Cup-winning team, returned to the Bundesliga side last year after a spell with French club Girondins Bordeaux.

He retired from international football after Belgium's second-round defeat by eventual champions Brazil at this year's World Cup.
(C) Reuters Limited 2002.

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