Holger Badstuber was forced to come off during Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart just two months after returning from a 19 month injury lay off.
The defender was substituted at half time after he went down three minutes before the end of the first half with an unknown injury. Many fans feared that the player had suffered a blow to his right knee where he had previously torn a cruciate ligament.
However, after the match it was revealed on the club’s Twitter account that the problem was not in relation to his knee.
The tweet stated: Let-off for @Badstuber: Defender only withdrawn due to thigh problems. His knee is okay. #FCBayernLive
Bayern went on to win the game 2-0 thanks to goals from Mario Gotze in the first half and Franck Ribery just five minutes from full time. It marked their 12th straight competitive win over the Reds. More importantly this victory took the Bundesliga champions to the top of the table alongside Bayer Leverkusen who drew 3-3 with Werder Bremen the night before.
In December 2012, Badstuber was stretchered off in Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund after he had torn a cruciate ligament in his knee. When he tried to make his comeback he was then taken off again after suffering another tear.
Since making his return this summer, the 25 year-old German has undergone four knee operations and his return was set back further by a torn thigh muscle which he picked up in one of his first training sessions back. But Badstuber impressed Guardiola in pre-season and he was then picked to start in the opening game of the new season against VfL Wolfsburg.
There has been no confirmation on how long Badstuber will be side-lined for but Bayern have now been left in a tough position in terms of defensive options leading into the first week of Champions League fixtures.
Spain International Javi Martinez, who is often considered as a defensive replacement, was forced off in the German Super Cup earlier this season and has been ruled out for six months. The club may have brought in former Roma defender, Mehdi Benatia, but the Moroccan has only trained with the club for a week as he had to recover from a calf injury after completing his transfer.
Captain, Philipp Lahm, was pushed back to right back instead of his more preferred central midfield role as Dante and Jerome Boateng partnered in the centre of defence. Gianlucca Gaudino came on in place of Badstuber and kept the ship steady in the second half but it is likely David Alaba will return to this position for the next game. Sebastian Rode is also likely to come in for his first taste of European action.
Their first game of their new European campaign begins on Wednesday at home to Manchester City – a side they know too well from recent Champions League encounters.