Two of Bayern Munich's key players, Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, have started the new year on the wrong foot and now are unlikely to be available for Bayern's Rückrunde-opener against Bayer Leverkusen next Friday.
Mats Hummels has been struggling with an adductor injury throughout the winter break. After briefly returning to team training at Bayern's winter camp in Doha, Qatar, the defender has been forced to move to individual training. He told Sport Bild's Tobias Altschäffl that he almost certainly will not recover in time.
Mats Hummels wird zum Auftakt gegen Leverkusen ausfallen. „Es sind nur noch sieben Tage. Das kann ich mir schlecht vorstellen“, sagt der @FCBayern-Star zu einem möglichen Einsatz @SPORTBILD @Fussball_Bild— Tobias Altschäffl (@altobelli13) January 5, 2018
Mats Hummels will be out for the opener against Leverkusen. “There are only seven days left. I can't imagine it [i.e. coming back in time],” says the FC Bayern star regarding potentially playing.
To make matters worse, Robert Lewandowski's lingering patella injury continues to bother the star striker. Lewandowski has also had to give up team training in Doha and now is unlikely to play next week.
Lewandowski zu @SPORTBILD: „Es geht mir besser, aber ich mache keinen Druck.“ In Doha wird er nicht mehr mit dem Team trainieren. Für den Auftakt in Leverkusen ist er fraglich: „Ich weiß nicht, ob es klappt.“ @FCBayern @Fussball_Bild— Tobias Altschäffl (@altobelli13) January 5, 2018
Lewandowski to Sport Bild: “I feel better, but I'm not pushing it.” He will not train with the team any longer in Doha. He is questionable for the opener in Leverkusen. “I don't know if it'll work out.”
Bayern are fortunate that strong players are available to replace both Hummels and Lewandowski in the starting lineup next week. Jerome Boateng and Niklas Süle can anchor Bayern's back line, while new acquisition Sandro Wagner has at last provided Bayern with what it lacked for so long: a true striker with proven Bundesliga experience.
The other silver lining to this injury update is Sven Ulreich: he is still cooling his middle finger in water to reduce the swelling, but he has otherwise rejoined the team.