Rafinha Injury: Updates on Bayern Munich Star's Ankle and Return

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2014

Bayern's Rafinha of Brazil watches his team during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart, in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after tearing a ligament in his left ankle during training on Saturday.

The club's Twitter feed confirmed the injury but gave little indication as to how long the 28-year-old Brazilian would be out for:

The player's own devastated response to the injury suggests he could be out of action for some time, per UEFA: "Of course I am very disappointed. I was having a really good preparation until now. I am very, very sad."

Bayern play Borussia Dortmund in the DFL Supercup on Wednesday, while the defence of their Bundesliga title begins against Wolfsburg on Aug. 22.

Rafinha looks set to miss these encounters, a big blow for Bayern considering his importance to the side, illustrated by his 28 league appearances in last term's winning campaign.

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

In Rafinha's absence, Bayern boss Pep Guardiola may be forced to move Philipp Lahm back to his original right-back role, having played him predominantly as a central midfielder last season.

However, there may be some who see this as a blessing in disguise considering Lahm's fine performances in the position as Germany won the World Cup in Brazil, per football writer Graham Ruthven:

Rafinha's absence is certainly a blow for Bayern. He provides solidity on the right flank, and Guardiola will likely be reluctant to move Lahm to right-back.

The Dortmund encounter will be a good gauge of where Bayern stand ahead of the new league campaign for which the Bavarian outfit will once again be heavy favourites.  

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 22:  Coach Pep Guardiola of FC Bayern Munich attends a press conference, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match against Real Madrid CF, at Intercontinental Hotel on April 22, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Despite losing most recently in preseason to the MLS All-Stars, Bayern's strength is such that they should challenge not just for the Bundesliga but for the Champions League also.

However, Rafinha's injury will force Guardiola to change his plans somewhat until the defender can return.