More than two weeks since injuring his ankle and following an initial scare that he would be unable to return to action, Bayern Munich right-back Benjamin Pavard will join the rest of his team members in Lisbon for the remainder of the Champions League knockouts.
The injury news of the French fullback just a week before the champions league resumed came as a big blow to the Bavarians. On one hand, Benji’s solid and consistent performances at right-back week in week out boosted the team's overall performance; on the other, he was a major factor in giving Joshua Kimmich enough time to adjust in midfield and emerge as a world class CM for Bayern without having to worry about the right back position.
While the early diagnosis had Pavard out for a minimum of three weeks, Bayern, the player, and the fans have been hopeful of an earlier return. And those hopes of an early return were nearly put to bed following a couple of tweets from Sky Sports reporter, Torben Hoffmann:
That didn’t look too good @BenPavard28. Done after the length of the pitch.
Danach der kurze Ausstausch mit dem Rehatrainer und Abbruch @BenPavard28— Torben Hoffmann (@Sky_Torben) August 12, 2020
Zumindest sind sie danach direkt wieder in die Kabine.
Ein möglicher Einsatz im Turnierverlauf der CL scheint eher unwahrscheinlich. @SkySportNewsHD @SkySportDE @FCBayern pic.twitter.com/Lg2yvlze4s
Afterward a brief talk with the rehab coach and stopped @BenPavard28 At least, they went straight back to the locker room afterward. Potential availability in the Champions League tournament seems rather unlikely.
While the Frenchman doesn’t look very comfortable in those clips, thankfully and surprisingly he was only testing out new shoes! In another tweet today by Hoffmann, Pavard is seen at the airport ready to leave for Lisbon to join the rest of the squad.
Abflug @BenPavard28 @FCBayern Richtung Lissabon! Exklusiv @SkySportNewsHD @SkySportDE zum „Abbruch“ gestern.— Torben Hoffmann (@Sky_Torben) August 13, 2020
„Ich habe gestern Schuhe getestet. Mir geht es gut.“
Hoffnung auf Training/Einsatz „ja, das habe ich“
Comeback laut Pavard nicht ausgeschlossen. pic.twitter.com/k8cVAqMHHx
Departure @BenPavard28 @FCBayern to Lisbon! Exclusive @SkySportNewsHD @SkySportDE on “(training) stop” yesterdasy: “I tested shoes yesterday. I’m fine.” Hope regarding training/playing: “yes, I have that.” According to Pavard, a comeback has not been ruled out.
Although it is very unlikely for Pavard to play against Lionel Messi and co. when Bayern face Barcelona in two days, his return should come as positive news to the club.
Pavard’s injury and the lack of a quality backup option meant that Kimmich had to return to right-back for the time being. Despite a masterclass performance by Thiago against Chelsea, Kimmich’s presence in the midfield was missed. Hence, the return of Pavard to the squad and later possibly to the starting eleven would benefit the team in more ways than one.