Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has said he expects defender Lucas Hernandez to be out "for a long time" after the injury he picked up on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.
The German champions were 3-2 winners on the night against Olympiacos, although the victory came at a cost, as the France international couldn't finish the game because of an ankle issue.
Salihamidzic said it's likely the team will be without their record signing for a while. "He will be out for a long time," he told Sport1 (h/t Goal.com, via Yahoo Sport). "Several weeks."
Manager Niko Kovac provided further details on Hernandez's condition: "Hernandez has problems with his ankle. We have to see whether the ligament was also affected. He has severe pain on the inside of his ankle; that's why we had to take him out. It's very frustrating."
Christian Falk of Sport Bild also reported that Hernandez is poised to spend some time on the sidelines:
Bayern have endured some poor fortune when it comes to injuries of late, with a number of defensive players suffering from issues.
It was confirmed earlier this week that they may be without star centre-back Niklas Sule for the remainder of the campaign after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Saturday's Bundesliga draw with Augsburg.
Here is the moment Sule's season came to a premature end:
In addition, on Tuesday, Kovac also had to bring off Javi Martinez, who is able to drop into a centre-back position when required. Per the initial report, the manager said the Spaniard "had a muscular problem" and they "didn't want to take any risks."
Prior to Hernandez's injury on Tuesday, German football writer Jonathan Harding summed up the issues Bayern have at the back:
Following the injury to Sule, there was naturally concern when Hernandez went down against Olympiacos, and there were fears he'd suffered an injury of comparable severity.
While Salihamidzic has said he will be absent for a "long time," at this early stage it will give Bayern supporters some small comfort that the sporting director is talking about weeks out of the team instead of months.
Hernandez moved to Bayern from Atletico Madrid in the summer and is regarded as one of the best young defenders in European football. Kovac faces a challenge setting up his team without these key defensive cogs in the coming weeks, starting with Saturday's showdown against Union Berlin.