In an unfortunate turn of events for Bayern Munich, it looks like Leon Goretzka will be sidelined for much longer than first thought. The 26-year-old has suffered a fresh setback with the injury that has kept him for two months already. It’s unknown how much longer Goretzka will have to be on the sidelines — a surgery probably can’t be ruled out.
Per kicker, the midfielder once again has pain in his knee — the patellar tendon, i.e. the tendon that connects the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the tibia — is causing the problem. Goretzka was originally put on a conservative treatment regimen which consisted of drug therapy and rehab, but it appears that the treatment has been ineffective. The player was originally supposed to be back on the training pitch by the coming Tuesday, but has so far only been able to complete light running sessions. He will certainly miss Bayern’s return game against RB Leipzig next Saturday.
The club’s medical team now have to make a difficult decision. Will they continue the conservative treatment regimen, or proceed to surgery? Either method could leave Goretzka sidelined for crucial games in the second half of the season, especially the latter part of the Champions League. However, Goretzka’s long term knee issues look like they could derail much more than this season, so Bayern will have to be very cautious with the player.
For now, this means Julian Nagelsmann will be without one of his main midfielders for the foreseeable future. Joshua Kimmich will be expected to pick up much of the slack, while players like Corentin Tolisso, Marc Roca, and Marcel Sabitzer will all get a chance to showcase their abilities in Goretzka’s absence. In Tolisso’s case, it could even impact his chances of getting a new contract.
As for a timeline for his return — right now, even Bayern’s doctors probably don’t know when he’ll be back. Knee injuries are tricky, so you can’t rush these things. It’s probably safe to assume Goretzka might even miss the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 against Salzburg next month, and more games besides. This has been a tough season for the tanky German, let’s hope that he gets back to his best as soon as possible.