A lot of people thought Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola was being overly paranoid when he insisted in preseason that he needed another backup goalkeeper. He already had arguably the best at the position in Manuel Neuer, and a very capable backup in Tom Starke, who could still start for a fair amount of teams in the Bundesliga. In the end, Pep got his way when Bayern announced this August that they had signed Pepe Reina, the Liverpool keeper who had been on loan at Napoli for the 2013/14 season.
Reina immediately took over the backup spot, relegating Tom Starke to 3rd string. As fate would have it, Starke regained his spot behind Neuer when the Spanish goalie suffered a bizarre calf injury in the opening minutes of a friendly match against an assortment of fans at the beginning of October.
Well, it is Starke's turn to be bitten by the injury bug. In this Sunday's team practice, the former Hoffenheim player suffered a dreaded syndesmosis injury in his left ankle, requiring surgery, which was already performed Monday. His return date has not been determined yet, but he will miss at least multiple weeks.
Despite Pep's precautionary move of having three senior goalkeepers on the roster, he is right back to where he was last season, having to call up a Bayern reserve keeper to sit on the bench in the upcoming Champions League game against AS Roma. Leopold Zingerle has joined the team, which boarded the plane for Rome this morning.
Will we see Guardiola lobbying for having four keepers next season?