According to a somewhat sensational report by Bild, which was picked up and summarized for free by @iMiaSanMia, Bayern Munich may be hiding the true extent of Manuel Neuer’s injury. While obviously not confirmed by club sources, it alleges that Neuer suffered a much more serious injury than originally reported.
Back in December, it was revealed that Manuel Neuer suffered a fracture of the lower leg while skiing during his holiday after the World Cup. The official report was short on details, merely stating that the goalkeeper had undergone a successful surgery and would miss the remainder of the season.
Now, the Bild report alleges that Neuer actually suffered an open fracture of the tibia and the fibula (the bones which make up the lower leg) — an injury which has a far longer timetable for recovery.
Now the difference between an open and closed fracture is simple, if a little gruesome. In an open fracture, the bone penetrates through the skin after breaking. In a closed fracture, the bone is still broken, but does not penetrate the skin. Needless to say, an open fracture is a more clinically complicated case — there is a higher level of damage to surrounding tissues, and a higher risk of infection and non-union of bones. Open fractures are often caused by high energy impacts, so a fall during a skiing trip would certainly count.
Bild says that Neuer’s camp did not deny the diagnosis when asked for comment. However this is NOT a confirmation, and it’s doubtful that Neuer’s camp would ever confirm the player’s personal medical details to begin with. The club itself has never given any official timeline for recovery, aside from confirming that Neuer will definitely miss the rest of the season.
In general, Bayern Munich fans should NOT panic about this. Manuel Neuer is being monitored by professionals who know what they are doing, and even if the fracture is an open case, it doesn’t make that much of a difference to the recovery timeline. It won’t make Neuer come back faster, but it certainly doesn’t mean he can’t be back for the start of the 2023/24 season. Remember, that date is still a solid eight months away.
In the meantime, Bayern’s plans to procure a replacement continue unhindered. Yann Sommer is the main candidate, and if not him then maybe they’ll try for Alex Nubel again. Per Bild, the bosses are trying to get someone who can replace Neuer in the long term, not just for this season. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Neuer will be replaced, but it can’t hurt to be prepared.