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Injury Update: Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka wants to take his time with patellar tendon injury

Goretzka wants to avoid rushing back too soon at all costs to protect his knee long term.

FC Bayern Muenchen - Training Session Photo by A. Pretty/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Leon Goretzka has not played for Bayern Munich since December 4th’s 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion, and even then, he was only able to clock a total of 65 minutes due to carrying a knock. Most recently, he’s been dealing with a persistent patellar tendon issue that’s kept him out of full team training all week. Rather, he’s been training individually as to not risk aggravating the issue and manage the load on the affected knee. Goretzka will not be available for Bayern’s Ruckrunde opener against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.

“He had two days that were pretty decent and now he has had a day where we’ve cut the load. Today we wanted to improve it, then it was significantly worse again. We did another check-up MRI and there was no deterioration. But no improvement either,” Julian Naglesmann said of Goretzka’s situation in the press conference ahead of the ‘Gladbach clash (Bild).

From Bayern’s perspective, with their current coronavirus predicament and a small list of players out injured, it is absolutely paramount for the long term that they do not rush Goretzka back and risk further complications to his knee or any of the surrounding muscles. So many different injuries can occur from a compromised patellar tendon that essentially connects the kneecap to the shin bone and is partially responsible for keeping the aligned as the leg bends and straightens during each stride. Any number of different injures, both minor and major could potentially occur with a patellar tendon that’s not fully recovered and losing Goretzka long term would be costly.

“We have sent the pictures again to the specialist in Innsbruck and will do another examination there and then decide what to do with the knee. Whether you continue to try it conservatively or have to take another look to notice the third dimension, whether there is some structure that causes problems. But that has not yet been decided. We’ll think about what we’re doing for the next two days. It is important that it does not go on like this, because the situation is unbearable, especially for him. It’s very wavy. Leon is unable to play. Have to go other ways to make sure that he doesn’t fail for another four to five weeks,” Nagelsmann added.

FC Bayern Muenchen Training Session Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

In retrospect, Goretzka playing in the 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund could’ve been a massive contributing factor in his patellar tendon situation getting worse. In the buildup to that clash, Goretzka even had to cut training early due to discomfort. For that circumstance, it was certainly calculated risk, but the result might’ve been different had Goretzka not started.


Surgery could be required

Per an update from @iMiaSanMia on Twitter, Goretzka might even have to have an operation to repair the patellar tendon is his knee. This would all but guarantee he would be sidelined for a considerable spell as he recovers from said operation if that is, in fact, the case.