Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has undergone successful surgery on his injured right ankle but will not return to first-team action before November.
• Schaaf: Thiago injury not a huge loss
Thiago damaged his ankle in Bayern’s 2-0 victory over Nurnberg on Saturday and was initially expected to be out for seven weeks, but the club said on their official website on Monday: "He will spend the next five to six weeks on crutches, before commencing a sports rehabilitation programme."
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told a press conference: "He’s out for a long time, and we’ll miss him."
Javi Martinez, who had returned injured from Spain’s recent trip to Ecuador, will also remain sidelined with adductor problems. “This happens in football. We will find other solutions,” Guardiola said.
The absence of the two Spain internationals will increase the responsibility on Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger, currently the only real holding midfielder available to Guardiola.
Germany international Toni Kroos, meanwhile, has told kicker that Bayern need to approach him if they want to prolong his contract.
“I have got two years left on my contract. That’s not an infinite time in football,” he said.
“I’ll focus on my performance and keeping up my form. If the club want to keep me, they have to approach me and not the other way round. And if it doesn’t happen, I will always be able to look to see what’s around.”