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Badstuber's latest blow hurts Bayern and Germany

14 February 2016, 19:05

Berlin - Holger Badstuber's latest injury is not just a cruel blow for the centre-back, but also impacts Bayern Munich's plans to win this season's treble and Germany's aspirations for Euro 2016.

The 26-year-old fractured his left ankle by mistiming a sliding tackle on his Bayern team-mate David Alaba in a training session ahead of Sunday's league game at Augsburg.

He underwent surgery in Munich on Saturday and is expected to be out for at least three months after suffering his fourth serious injury since December 2012.

From Bayern's perspective, the timing is terrible, given their Champions League last 16, first-leg, match away to Juventus is in just ten days time, leaving head coach Pep Guardiola perilously low on centre-backs.

Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez are already out for the coming months with groin and knee injuries respectively.

Also read: Football struggles in Russia ahead of W/Cup

Medhi Benatia in only just back from missing the last seven games with a leg injury, while new signing Serdar Tasci was concussed in his first training session last week after signing on loan from Spartak Moscow.

The injury crisis in central defence is a hit to Bayern's plans to give Guardiola the perfect send-off, before his summer departure to Manchester City, by repeating the 2013 treble.

Germany's top club is hunting a record fourth straight Bundesliga title, their 18th German Cup crown and want to win the Champions League after exiting the semi-finals in their two previous attempts under Guardiola.

But Badstuber's injury is also a blow for Germany head coach Joachim Loew with the European championships in France now four months away.

Badstuber missed Germany's 2014 World Cup win with injury.

With Boateng already out of Germany's home friendlies against England and Italy in March, Badstuber was busy playing his way into Loew's plans having only returned in November after seven months out with a torn thigh muscle.


"It's unbelievable that it's always Holger who is affected," said Loew.

"It's very bitter news. He was on his way back to full form and all of us in the national team wish him a speedy recovery and an early return to the pitch.

"I'm certain that with his morale and top attitude, he'll manage it."

Badstuber showed plenty of fighting spirit despite his latest set-back.

"Once a fighter, always a fighter! Think positive. Now more than ever," he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

But his Bayern and Germany team-mates struggled to get their heads around how their colleague could have such bad luck.

"Don't let your head go down, you'll do it!" tweeted World Cup winner Mario Goetze, while Germany's captain Bastian Schweinsteiger wrote: "such a skilled footballer, a great friend and so much bad luck!".

Alaba, who Badstuber had attempted to tackle when injury struck, wrote "Horrible news for us today. @Badstuber, you will #comebackstronger again, my friend. #GetWellSoonHolger."

Even Borussia Dortmund, Bayern's arch rivals in Germany, offered an encouraging: "A Badstuber always gets up again!"

path well worn

Few professionals have trod the long path of rehabilitation from injury as often as Badstuber.

He has been limited to 31 appearances for Germany, since his debut before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, by an injury list which would be bad for an entire squad, let alone a single player.

He first tore the cruciate ligament in his right knee in December 2012, only to repeat the injury in the same leg the following May, which ultimately saw him miss the 2014 World Cup.

He was out for a total of 642 days and only returned in January 2015, but then tore his left thigh in April last year which saw him miss another seven months until his return last November.

Loew was recently asked if Badstuber was in his thoughts for a Euro 2016 place and the coach's answer proved to be prophetic: "fitness is a prerequisite."

Badstuber's Germany team-mate and Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes optimistically tweeted: "Dear @Badstuber, I hope, from my heart that you get well soon. I am certain that we will see each other at the Euro in France: On the pitch!"

There seems little chance of that.



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