Update (5:30pm ET)
The agent for Lucas Hernández, Frank Hocquemiller, is painting a far rosier picture about his client's injury recovery — and setting a quick timetable that would see the defender get several more Bayern Munich matches to work his way back to full fitness prior to the FIFA World Cup. Per French outlet RMC Sport:
En réaction aux informations du média allemand Sport1, l'agent de Lucas Hernandez se veut rassurant et fait savoir que le joueur va rejouer avant la fin du mois et même pouvoir reprendre la course dès lundi.— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) October 7, 2022
In reaction to information from the German media Sport1, Lucas Hernández’s agent wants to be reassuring and let it be known that the player will play again before the end of the month and even be able to resume running on Monday.
Lucas Hernández would have wanted the joy of scoring Bayern Munich's opening goal to be his lasting memory from his team's Champions League triumph over FC Barcelona in mid-September. The joy on his face was pure as he kissed the badge with pride after breaking the deadlock. And yet, the injury he suffered late in the game has lingered — to the heartbreak of Bayern fans.
The French international limped off the field in the latter stages of the game, the pain on his face palpable, even as Barça players around him initially assumed he was play-acting. Initial estimates from L’Équipe and Bild suggested that Hernández would be out for five-to-six weeks, while the club's own statement only put the timetable at “several” weeks.
But recent reports suggest that the injury could be worse than first expected. Sport1’s Kerry Hau, via @iMiaSanMia, has reported that Hernández’s absence could instead extend to two months. That would slate Hernández’s return to be around mid-November — placing his hopes for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in some jeopardy.
Important to add: Bayern and Hernández himself are optimistic that he will play the WC. There are just doubts that he will be 100 % ready to play a match before. As the healing process is slower than expected, nobody want to take any risk.
Missing every single Bayern game before the World Cup’s start is a serious setback. France have options in the back line — Hernández’s Bayern teammate Dayot Upamecano among them. While Hernández is a top talent who won’t likely miss the trip to Qatar unless circumstances dictate, the timeline still at least risks his shot at winning a starting berth.
While Hernández is out injured, Julian Nagelsmann will continue to rely on the center back pairing of Matthijs De Ligt and Dayot Upamecano, while Benjamin Pavard and Josip Stanišić wait in the wings to play in the center if one of those two are unavailable.
Bayern still has plentiful depth at the back while Hernández is out, but Bayern’s warrior will be a huge miss as he recovers. For Hernández, club and country surely cannot wait for his return to full fitness.