Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has suffered a second knee ligament tear and will have to undergo another operation.
The Spainiard suffered the setback in training this week as he continued his comeback from the injury he first picked up during a match against Hoffenheim in March.
Bayern said in a statement the former Barcelona man had suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in a challenge and would be out for the “long term”. They described the injury as “serious”.
The 32-year-old said: “What can I say? Of course at the moment I am deeply disappointed and distraught. Why always me? But I will not give up. I will continue to fight. I will come back again. And I will celebrate my comeback with Bayern.”
Sporting director Matthias Sammer added: “We are all shocked and sad after this new injury. Thiago was so close to a comeback after a long time. But he knows — the whole of Bayern is here for him. We will do everything for him to get fit again and win many titles with us.”
Thiago suffered a setback in his recovery from the initial injury in May, which forced him to go under the knife and ruled him out of the World Cup.
Bayern are top of the Bundesliga, leading the table by four points after seven games of the season.
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has warned the Premier League to watch its back because the Bundesliga is about to overtake it.
The Bundesliga is currently third in Uefa’s five-year rankings, but closing in on the Premier League all the time.
And Rummenigge has called on all German sides participating in Europe next week to pull out all the stops to ensure England’s top division drops a position at the end of the current season, which is feasible.
“I think that the English are looking over to us with rather a bit of envy,” he told Sport1 television.
“They may have high income, but on a sporting level, they are losing a bit of attractiveness compared to the Bundesliga.
“Not long ago, we were fourth in the Uefa rankings and now we are third.
“We’ve caught up a lot on the Premier League in recent years and I’d like to call on all Bundesliga clubs involved in the Champions League and the Europa League in the coming week to get as many points as possible.
“We can overtake England this year and that would be a big slap in the face for the Premier League.”
While setting his sights on overtaking England, Rummenigge should perhaps also be wary of what is going on behind Germany.
Italy, which dropped to fourth in the rankings in 2012, when Germany secured a fourth starting berth in the Champions League at the expense of Serie A, have accumulated more points than any other nation so far this season.
Although they are not likely to have any chance of regaining third place for a few years, the fact Italian clubs have started to take the Europa League seriously with only one team — Torino — dropping any points on the first two European matchdays shows they are keen to close a gap which currently stands at over 11,000 points.
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