It was certainly a strange first half of the season for Bayern Munich. Yes, the club steamrolled their way to the top of the Bundesliga and their Champions League group, but they've also been hit harder by injuries than any other club in the league. Many of us have been wanting updates on these long term injuries, but nothing official was coming out from the club.
However, leave it to Matthias Sammer to be the one that gives us updates on every one of the injured players. The Bayern Munich sporting director spoke to FCBayern.de about the players recovery and the upcoming training camp in Qatar.
Holger Badstuber has made a lot of progress, and I think he'll resume team training in early January. David Alaba might need a few more days, but he'll be back in the thick of it in the course of the training camp. I think the situation's the same with Tom Starke. The timeline with regard to Philipp Lahm is that he could be back by mid to late-February. As for Javi Martínez and Thiago, I'm not going to offer an opinion. We'll give them all the time in the world, because all that matters is getting them fit again.
It'll be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola inserts Badstuber into his centerback rotation. Badstuber was thrust into a starting role in preseason with Jerome Boateng, Dante, and Mehdi Benatia not ready for various reasons. He looked to have fully recovered from his knee injury and was playing quite well. The thigh injury was unfortunate roadblock in his path back to playing great soccer.
With that said, the more interesting return will be Alaba getting back into the side. There is no questioning that the Austrian is one of the first name's written on the team sheet, but the superb play of Juan Bernat will give Guardiola many more options moving forward.
As for Starke, his return will give Pepe Reina some competition for Manuel Neuer's backup. Hopefully, we don't have to see either one on the field this season.
Sammer would go on to add that Lahm and Thiago will not be going to the winter camp, while a decision hasn't been made about Martinez at this time. However, the club's depth at these positions make these longer recuperations easier to digest.