Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19
Bastian Schweinsteiger will miss the start of the Bundesliga season after Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed he could be out for several weeks.
FIFA's official Twitter provides the latest on the midfielder's knee ligament injury, including a brief quote from Rummenigge on the governing body's official website:
"It won't only be a case of one or two weeks, but rather a bit longer," said Rummenigge, adding that "several weeks of patience" would be required.
Bastian Schweinsteiger sustained an ankle injury during Bayern Munich's 2-1 pre-season loss to MLS All-Stars.
The German international—who will start the Bundesliga season after only a short break due to his participation in the nation's World Cup win—hasn't sustained long-term damage, per Bayern's Twitter account:
Update on @BSchweinsteiger: He has a bruised ankle but nothing serious. Get well soon, Basti!— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 7, 2014
Pep Guardiola fielded an experimental team against an MLS side who proved to be sharper and fitter. None of his World Cup-winning players started, per the Associated Press and via USA Today, and Schweinsteiger was among the group who came on with 10 minutes to go, noted by Soccerway.
The friendly was notable for Guardiola's behaviour after the final whistle. He decided against shaking hands with Portland Timbers and MLS All-Star head coach Caleb Porter, as noted by SportsCenter:
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola was not happy with end of MLS All-Star Game, refusing to shake hands afterward. » http://t.co/fAbdQJChVa— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 7, 2014
This is likely due to the overly physical style of the American outfit, who played to their full capacity in the exhibition match. Osvaldo Alonso and Will Johnson were both cautioned for tough tackles, as noted by MLS writer Matthew Doyle:
Pretty sure this is the last time Bayern will ever play an All-Star game. Cahill, Ozzie, Will Johnson = bloodbath in the midfield.— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) August 7, 2014
Schweinsteiger's 10 minutes on the pitch proved to be frustrating. The German midfielder replaced new signing Juan Bernat, much to the delight of the Providence Park crowd in Portland, Oregon, but may have wished he stayed at home after receiving the knock.
Will Bastian Schweinsteiger make more than 30 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich next season?
Schweinsteiger's bruised ankle shouldn't affect his pre-season preparations for long. Bayern have given no indication he will miss the German Super Cup clash with Borussia Dortmund on Aug. 13, although confirmation is still needed.
Bayern are due to face 3. Liga side Munster in the German Cup on Aug. 17, and their Bundesliga campaign doesn't begin until the match with Wolfsburg on Aug. 22, per Soccerway. This range of fixtures should allow Schweinsteiger plenty of time to recover while Guardiola gives one or two fringe players the chance to prove themselves.
Bernat, Sebastian Rode and Gianluca Gaudino are among those who can pick up the slack if needed. Bayern's squad remains crammed with versatile quality, allowing Guardiola to switch the positioning of many individuals if Schweinsteiger hasn't recovered in time for competitive football.
Philipp Lahm is more than capable of sitting in the centre, while Javi Martinez can also be pushed out of defence to ensure physical presence remains. Mario Gotze may also take in a more prominent role after firing Germany to victory at the recent World Cup.
Schweinsteiger only made 22 starts and one substitute appearance in the Bundesliga last year, per WhoScored.com. Bayern are used to rotating under Guardiola, who prefers to keep his team fresh. The same is likely to occur during the coming season, with Pep continuing to fuel his reputation as a tinkerman.
While it's a major relief that Schweinsteiger's injury doesn't appear to be serious, the Bavarian club will want their influential midfielder fit and firing again as soon as possible.