Arturo Vidal Needs Knee Operation, Is a Doubt for Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2018

SEVILLE, SPAIN - APRIL 03: Arturo Erasmo Vidal of Bayern Muenchen gestures during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final first leg match between Sevilla FC and Bayern Muenchen at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on April 3, 2018 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arturo Vidal could be set to miss out on Bayern Munich's UEFA Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid after manager Jupp Heynckes confirmed he will require a minor operation on his knee.

Vidal has missed Bayern's last four matches after being withdrawn in the 36th minute in the first leg of their quarter-final with Sevilla, and Heynckes confirmed his need for a procedure:

FC Bayern English @FCBayernEN

Jupp #Heynckes: "He's a fighter. I'm confident for his recovery." Wishing you a speedy recovery, Arturo! #MiaSanMia #B04FCB ✊ https://t.co/nKmBC6YiPj

The coach did not offer a timescale for the Chilean's recovery, but he looks to be in a race to be fit for the first leg on April 25 and the away fixture on May 1.

Vidal had returned to training with Bayern following his absence from the side, but he was forced to leave Sunday's session early after suffering the setback. 

Goal's Ronan Murphy relayed further details from Heynckes on the matter and noted the blow it would deal to the side if he's not available:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

Jupp Heynckes on Arturo Vidal's injury: "He went over under no pressure, but the effects aren't pleasant for us. He has an exposed joint in his knee. He is on his way to Augsburg where a little surgery will take place. So Arturo is sidelined for the short-term." #FCB

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

Arturo Vidal pulling out of Bayern Munich training due to a knee injury could definitely impact their Champions League chances. A huge player for #FCB

Vidal was part of the Juventus side that beat Real Madrid in the 2014-15 Champions League semi-finals and scored against them last year as Bayern lost 6-3 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

The 30-year-old is a combative presence in the centre who offers a potent blend of physicality, defensive robustness and attacking threat, and the Bavarians will need to be strong in midfield if they're to counter Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro.

Bayern still have an array of options to call upon if he can't recover in time, from on-loan Real Madrid star James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso to Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara, but Vidal is a top-class player.

It will be difficult for the Bundesliga champions to be at their best without him, and they need to be if they're to beat Los Blancos.