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Report: Leon Goretzka battled through pain to help Bayern Munich win Der Klassiker

Goretzka trained alone (well, kinda) as Bayern returned to the field on Monday.

Training start FC Bayern Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images

While the rest of Bayern Munich (well, the available players who aren’t out due to COVID-19) returned to the training pitch at Säbener Straße, Leon Goretzka (knee) and Serge Gnabry (adductor/back) trained with rehab trainer Simon Martinello. Now, thanks to Bild, we know a little more about Goretzka’s current knee problems.

According to the paper, Goretzka went into the December 4th Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund already struggling with knee issues. He even had to call off training in the lead up to the match. Goretzka knew that he was risking a more serious injury, but he “saw the BVB duel as the most important game of the first half of the season and sacrificed himself.”

Training start FC Bayern Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images

His performance in the match was laudatory, but it came with consequences. He would go on to miss the final four matches of the Hinrunde with the patellar ligament issues.

However, Bayern’s relatively light schedule for the return of the Bundesliga could be the big benefit to getting Goretzka and his midfield partner Joshua Kimmich back to full fitness for the big push in the second half of the season. The Champions League doesn’t restart until February 16, and despite the two week international break at the end of January, Bayern won’t have multiple-game weeks for the first six weeks of the season.

That is, of course, if COVID doesn’t derail everything.