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Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernandez enjoyed his surprise start against Schalke

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Lucas Hernandez has spent the majority of his time over the past few months preparing to try and get fit enough to get on the pitch at Bayern Munich. On Saturday, the defender got a surprise start against Schalke when Thiago Alcantara was declared unfit to play.

FC Schalke 04 v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

It has taken a while, but former Atlético Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez might be close to 100% for Bayern Munich. After months of waiting, the Bavarian club’s most expensive acquisition to date is really getting a chance to show his talent.

Hernandez finally was healthy enough to make a start on Saturday and was a major contributor in Bayern Munich’s 3-0 victory over Schalke 04. After the game, Hernandez spoke to Bundesliga.com and was a bit relieved to get back on the pitch and contributing to the squad:

I’m very happy. After five months of injury, I really felt like playing this game. Now my chance came and I tried to make the most of it, I played for almost 80 minutes and I’m very happy. I had to work hard, but to play again after such a long time is the best thing that could happen to me.

It was a bit of a fluke that Hernandez was even in the starting lineup, though. Originally, Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac had Thiago Alcantara penciled in to start with Hernandez as a bench option. When Thiago was unable to play due to injury, Kovac called an audible and shifted Joshua Kimmich up to the defensive midfield, Benjamin Pavard out to right-back, and Hernandez into the starting lineup.

He [Thiago] couldn’t play, so the coach decided that I would take his place in the starting line-up. I tried to do my best to let everyone know they could count on me when I was on the pitch.

Hernandez teamed with Niklas Sule on Saturday against Die Königsblauen to form a very stable and athletic set of central defenders. On the day, Hernandez completed 74 of his 78 attempted passes, won nine tackles and was two-for-two in aerial battles.

Clearly, there was not much rust showing on the 23-year-old.