Berlin - Germany midfielder Daniel Bierofka had his nose broken by the referee after being hit in the face in a freak accident during a friendly match for his second-division club 1860 Munich.
The 33-year-old was playing for 1860 Munich against VfR Aalen when the referee spread out his arms to stop play early in the second-half, hitting Bierofka in the face.
The midfielder was forced to come off moments later, as his team went on to win 3-0 on Saturday, and was taken to hospital for an x-ray.
"I never thought the referee can injure a player," said 1860 coach Alexander Schmidt.
Having made three appearances for Germany in 2002, Bierofka is expected to wear a protective mask when 1860 Munich play their first game of 2013 against Kaiserslautern on Monday February 4.
1860 Munich hit the headlines ten days ago when they announced ex-England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson would be joining their coaching staff, only for the Swede to decline and take up a post with United Arab Emirates side Al Nasr.