Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber fractured his ankle in training on Saturday. The 26-year-old has already come through successful surgery, but will still be out for three months.
Continue for updates.
Bayern Stars Pay Tribute to Badstuber
Sunday, Feb. 14
“We are with you. You’re gonna make it again!” That was the message adorning the t-shirts of Bayern's players prior to their match against Augsburg, per Eurosport, who provided the following image:
Badstuber Sends Message to Bayern Fans
Sunday, Feb. 14
Danke für eure Genesungswünsche. Ihr seid großartig! / Thanks for all your messages and support. You are the best!! pic.twitter.com/y1NAJjTC9y— Holger Badstuber (@Badstuber) February 14, 2016
Bayern Short of Defensive Options
Losing Badstuber is a tough blow for the club. He's one of Bayern's most accomplished and committed defenders.
Badstuber recently started Bayern's DFB-Pokal win over VfL Bochum. His increasing match fitness might have made him a key squad player in the club's upcoming bid to win this season's UEFA Champions League.
Now Pep Guardiola's team is dangerously short of defensive options ahead of some big games. Medhi Benatia is brittle, while Jerome Boateng is suffering from a groin problem, according to an AFP report (h/t Sky Sports).
Youngster Joshua Kimmich, who started alongside Badstuber in the cup, is likely to be pressed into more action at the back. Loan player Serdar Tasci will also be needed.
Will injuries in defence scupper Bayern's treble bid?
Another injury is also a bitter blow for a player who has had a litany of fitness problems in recent seasons. A ruptured thigh muscle and a torn ACL are just some of the ailments that have plagued this gifted central defender, per ESPN FC's Stephan Uersfeld.
A true leader at the back, Badstuber is a tough tackler, as well as being comfortable on the ball. The latter is a quality manager Guardiola covets for his possession-based brand of football. Bayern are sure to miss a leader like Badstuber as they bid to win a treble this season.