Medhi Benatia has a muscular injury in his right thigh, Bayern Munich revealed Sunday after the defender underwent an examination on Saturday night. The club did not reveal a timetable for his return.
The 28-year-old defender departed after just 36 minutes in Saturday's 2-1 victory against Hoffenheim. Rafinha came in relief as the Moroccan left the field for further evaluation.
Benatia missed time in the preseason as well, although he missed Bayern's match against Guangzhou Evergrande with a small wound. Arriving from AS Roma a season ago, Benatia missed 11 matches for Bayern last season with various fitness issues.
Benatia has been Bayern's best defender so far in this short season, winning a whopping ten aerial duels in Bayern's opening match against Hamburger SV. The injury leaves Bayern with just two healthy center backs, Jérôme Boateng and Dante. Holger Badstuber has returned to running, but has yet to resume team training, while Javi Martínez is not expected back until after the first FIFA international break.
Reports earlier this week have linked the Dante with a move away from the club, Bayer Leverkusen supposedly with strong interested in the 31-year-old defender. However, the injury to Benatia may have dramatically decreased the likelihood the Rekordmeister move on from their wacky-haired defender.