If there was one thing that Bayern Munich did not need in their DFB-Pokal match against third-tier side Saarbrücken on Wednesday, it was a major injury.
Yet that is exactly what might have happened as center-back Matthijs de Ligt went flying in for a challenge in the first half, crumpling to the turf on the waterlogged pitch and clutching his knee. De Ligt got to his feet after attention from the Bayern medical team, but was substituted off for Konrad Laimer.
Early reports now indicate that the Dutchman suffered an MCL injury:
Further tests will reveal the exact extent of the injury, but De Ligt should be expected to miss at least several weeks, if not longer.
Bayern’s center-back depth is now once again in focus. Kim Min-jae is in good form and health, but Dayot Upamecano is the only other senior option at the position and returning from injury himself. Joshua Kimmich took De Ligt’s place in central defense for the remainder of the first half.
Bayern face Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Saturday in a match expected to be one of the biggest of the first half of the Bundesliga season.