Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has been ruled out for up to four weeks as he suffered an injury in the 3-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last night.
Bayern announced that the striker has ‘fractured the tibia where it meets the knee joint’ and that ‘after 10 days of immobilisation in a cast, he will start rehab’. In total, the rehabilitation period is expected to last around four weeks.
What this means is that Bayern will be without their top striker for a few important games, both domestically and on the continent. Here are the games he will likely miss:
- Hoffenheim (a), 29/02, Bundesliga
- Schalke (a), 03/03, DFB-Pokal
- Augsburg (h), 08/03, Bundesliga
- Union Berlin (a), 14/03, Bundesliga
- Chelsea (h), 18/03, UEFA Champions League
- Eintracht Frankfurt (h), 22/03, Bundesliga
- Finland (h), 27/03, International Friendly
- Ukraine (h), 31/03, International Friendly
Possible Return date for Lewandowski
Based off the information provided in the diagnosis by the Bayern medical staff, it looks as though Lewandowski will be back for the game away at Borussia Dortmund on April 4.
How big of a loss is it?
If you know anything about Bayern Munich then you know just how important Lewandowski is to them. He has 25 goals in 23 appearances in Bundesliga so far this season and has played in every single game, completing the full 90 in all but one game (Cologne [h], September).
His 25 goals in the league equate to 38% of Bayern’s 65 Bundesliga this season and they have been vital to Bayern’s title charge. After a poor start to the season, the arrival of Hansi Flick in temporary charge has revitalised the team and they now sit atop the league.
Currently, Bayern are a single point ahead of RB Leipzig, with Dortmund lingering just behind them. Just six points separate the entirety of the top five in Bundesliga so even just one misstep means you can fall behind.
Bayern travel to Gelsenkirchen to take on Schalke in the DFB-Pokal next week which has the feels of a very important game. We’re at the quarter-final stage of the German cup and playing David Wagner’s impressive youngsters will be a very tough test for Flick’s team.
Fortunately for Munich, they’re already as good as through in the Champions League following last night’s 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge – in which Lewandowski got the third goal.
If his recovery goes to plan, the game he will be targeting is the clash with Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park on April 4th. Realistically, Bayern will be desperate to have their star man back for that game – so I don’t expect him to even travel to his native Poland for their international friendlies at the back end of March.
In his absence, it seems likely that the burden of becoming the main goal-scoring threat will fall to Thomas Muller. The enigmatic German has seen a bit of an upturn in form since Flick took the reigns and put in another fantastic performance in London last night.
This also means we could see Philippe Coutinho return to the first team. The Brazilian has started just one of the last five Bundesliga games and will likely fill the attacking midfield role usually occupied by Muller, while he pushes forward to play in some sort of number nine role – be it false or regular.
All that said, while I’m sure Bayern will indeed miss Robert Lewandowski, they have a very impressive team even without him. They shouldn’t struggle to win the majority of their matches, even without the Polish phenom.