French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan will miss Malaga's first ever Champions League match on Tuesday when his team take on Zenit St Petersburg at La Rosaleda in their Group C opener, the Spanish club said Monday.
The 29-year-old has not recovered from a right thigh injury he suffered at the beginning of the month and was also missing for Malaga's 3-1 La Liga win over Levante on Saturday.
"He's an important absence but the team has also shown that they can overcome such absences," said Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini.
Zenit, who shelled out 100 million euros ($131.4m) on Brazilian forward Hulk from Porto and Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel from Benfica earlier this month, have a long trip to Spain.
And they will not need reminding that money is no guarantee of success as, with both men making their debuts, Zenit crumbled to a 2-0 home defeat to surprise early Russian league leaders Terek Grozny on Friday.