Bayern's Jerome Boateng confident of Germany return ahead of Euro 2016
Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng says he is hopeful of recovering from his "severe" groin injury in time to represent Germany at this summer's European Championships.
Boateng, 27, reportedly suffered a muscle tear and tendon injury in the 2-1 win at Hamburg on Friday and, while the club have been reluctant to say little more than that Boateng is "facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines," kicker have reported that he could face up to four months on the sidelines.
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"I never had a severe muscle injury in my career, and hoped it would only be a muscle tear," Boateng told the paper after undergoing an MRI scan. "I was shocked and sad on Friday and Saturday. But from today on I will only look ahead, but of course I am not allowed to rush anything."
The injury is not only a major loss for Bayern, who will face Juventus in the Champions League round of 16 next month, but also means that Boateng could face a race against time to return before Euro 2016 in France later this year.
"Normally it should work out," Boateng added. "But I also have to return to my old level."
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff told Bild that he was confident the Bayern defender would return in time, saying: "We firmly believe that he can play at the European Championships. He does not have to write off the run-in of the league and the Champions League."
But Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm believes his club should react to Boateng's injury setback by signing an extra defender.
"It's very, very disappointing for us because it's not just a matter of days or one or two games, but rather a long period of time, and this really, really hurts us," Lahm told Sport1.de.
"You've got to remember that our other central defenders have suffered setbacks in the past. "Holger [Badstuber] has been out practically for two years and while he has just played a really good game, you can never know if he can play a game every three days.
"Javi [Martinez] has also had a spell of suffering behind him, while Medhi [Benatia] is often carrying knocks."
Meanwhile, several reports in the German media have questioned whether Bayern coach Pep Guardiola is to blame for the muscle injuries among his players. Boateng's injury is the 14th muscular injury for the German champions this season despite a restructuring of the medical department last summer.