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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Bayern Munich to be without injured Thiago Alcantara 'for several weeks'

Spain midfielder had to be helped off in their narrow German Cup win over fourth-tier Roedinghausen on Tuesday

Roedinghausen's Simon Engelmann, left, in action with Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara during their second-round German Cup match. Reuters
Roedinghausen's Simon Engelmann, left, in action with Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara during their second-round German Cup match. Reuters

Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara will be out for several weeks after suffering an ankle injury in their 2-1 German Cup second round victory over amateurs SV Roedinghausen on Tuesday, the club has confirmed.

The Spain international, who had played in all but one of their 15 matches in all competitions this season, had to go off in the 75th minute after tearing a ligament and suffering further damage in his right ankle following a foul.

"Bayern will be without Thiago for several weeks," the club said in a statement after the player's medical examination.

Bayern, second in the Bundesliga, take on AEK Athens in the Uefa Champions League next week before facing current German league leaders Borussia Dortmund a few days later.

Manager Niko Kovac is already without long-term injured French pair Kingsley Coman, who tore ankle ligaments in August, and Corentin Tolisso, who damaged knee ligaments in September.

Alcantara is one of the few Bayern stars to hit good form recently.

He scored the winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 win at Mainz and Bayern, currently second in the Bundesliga, can ill-afford to lose him for the clash at league leaders Borussia Dortmund on November 10.

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"It doesn't look good. It would be bad if he has to drop out as he really matters to the team," admitted Bayern's sports director Hasan Salihamidzic after Tuesday's match.

Bayern have won their last four games but have looked jaded in recent weeks and laboured in Osnabrueck against Roedinghausen's part-timers.

Bayern were 2-0 up inside 13 minutes as Sandro Wagner scored an early goal and Thomas Muller converted a penalty, but lost their way after Renato Sanches fired a spot kick off the woodwork after 23 minutes.

"We are through, but as we all saw, every [Bayern] player has to give it some thought - this isn't just our right," to reach the third round, fumed Mueller.

Roedinghausen pulled a goal back just after the break and had chances to equalise against the reigning Bundesliga champions.

"We're a round further in the competition, which is always what you want and we played well up until the second penalty," Kovac said.

"After we missed that, the wind went out of our sails and we didn't play as well as I had imagined we would."

Bayern host mid-table Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday in the Bundesliga, then AEK Athens in the Uefa Champions League next Wednesday, having already beaten the reigning Greek champions 2-0 in Athens two weeks ago.