After suffering from a coronavirus infection in Qatar while on international duty with Morocco at the World Cup, Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui underwent scans and tests in Munich that revealed inflammation of the pericardium. He’s been told to rest as much as possible to recover and the initial, expected timeline for how long it will take him to return to action is six to eight weeks, as Bayern had stated. The defender played a total of 367 minutes at the World Cup for Morocco, missing the quarterfinals win over Portugal and the third-place match, which they lost 2-1 to Croatia.
There was cause for concern from a Bayern perspective when Morocco’s coaching staff had spoken about Mazraoui struggling with his fitness in Qatar, but it’s since been revealed that it was likely affected by COVID. Much like when fellow defender Alphonso Davies suffered from a bout of myocarditis, which effects the heart muscle as opposed to the pericardium tissue layer that surrounds the heart itself, Bayern wants to exhaust every single precaution with Mazraoui. They do not want to rush him back too quickly and they want to make sure the monitor him closely when he does eventually resume action to ensure there are no flare ups.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic recently expressed how much of a blow he knows it will be to miss Mazraoui for an extended period of time. He had just been starting to get in a positive run of form, getting more minutes for Bayern before the World Cup break, initially showcasing the best of his ability in the Champions League, when he had to come on in the first half for the injured Benjamin Pavard against Barcelona at the Allianz Arena.
“It’s a massive loss for us, of course, that he won’t be with us over the next few weeks. He’ll get all the time he needs to fully recover. Injuries like this need to be dealt with as carefully as possible,” Brazzo said, as per Bayern’s official Twitter account.
Thankfully, Julian Nagelsmann now has some added depth in defense with the signing of Daley Blind from Ajax, who can also play as a center back; something that Pavard can also do. Between the pair of them, he might need them to deputize as center backs at any given time to help give both Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt rests, but Blind can play on the right, too, if Pavard is needed at center back and one of Upamecano or de Ligt is also playing.