Removed in the 43rd minute of Bayern Munich's 2-0 victory against VfB Stuttgart, Holger Badstuber was diagnosed with a tendon tear in his left thigh, the club website revealed Sunday morning. He will need an operation and will miss an extended amount of time.
"Of course I am disappointed at the moment," said Badstuber. "But at the same time I know how somebody in this situation goes about it. But don't worry! I will return and then continue what I have been fighting for after my long injury break. I will not give up!"
Badstuber went to ground late in the first half, and got off the field under his own power after Bayern trainers rushed to his side. Bayern manager Pep Guardiola promptly called Gianluca Gaudino off the bench, and the 17-year-old played out the rest of the match in Badstuber's place.
It is devastating news for a player that had just missed 20 months with multiple knee operations. He was the first person to get extended time in the three man defense in the preseason with players on vacation following the World Cup. His performance convinced Guardiola to lean on him in the back, putting his 25-year-old in all four starting XI's to start the DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga title defenses.
Unlike the aftermath Javi Martínez's ACL tear, Bayern will be unable to go out and buy a replacement for Badstuber with the transfer window closed. Guardiola will have to rely on Jérôme Boateng, Dante, and new-arrival Mehdi Benatia. The 27-year-old Moroccan made his first team sheet appearance at the weekend, and has yet to make his debut in a Bayern shirt.
Bayern next host Manchester City in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, giving Guardiola only a matter of days to find a different solution to his continued defensive conundrum.