Kimmich injury may lead to long lay-off

AFP

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The Germany international hobbled off in the first half of Sunday's (AEDT) 3-2 Klassiker win against Borussia Dortmund after injuring himself in a challenge on Erling Haaland, for which he was shown a yellow card.

He sought to atone for a loose touch just inside the Dortmund half but was beaten to the ball by Haaland, swiping wildly at the striker and seemingly over-extending his knee.

Reports from Germany suggest the versatile midfielder may have suffered cruciate ligament damage, but Flick was unwilling to speculate over how long he might be out.

"Joshua will fly with us and then be examined in Munich," he said. 

"I don't know yet how bad it is and don't want to anticipate anything. We have to wait now. I am not participating in all the talk."

Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who has played alongside Kimmich for Bayern and Germany, is hopeful the injury is not too serious.

"I couldn't see it that well but his reaction didn't look good," he said. "I wish him all the best.

"He's a good guy and a super footballer, both for Bayern and the national team. I've got my fingers crossed for him."

Kimmich had netted the winner in each of the sides' previous two meetings, clinching a vital Bundesliga victory last term and then settling September's DFL-Supercup final.

The 25-year-old has been a regular for Bayern since the 2015-2016 season and Flick accepts it will not be an easy task filling the void should he spend time on the sidelines.

"He's an important player for us in this position," Flick said. "In addition to his mentality, he also has outstanding quality. 

"It'll be difficult, but we still won today against a good Dortmund team."

The game was goalless when Kimmich departed the pitch but five goals followed in an entertaining showdown.

David Alaba and Robert Lewandowski struck either side of half-time after Marco Reus had given Dortmund the lead and Leroy Sane extended Bayern's advantage late on.

Haaland pulled one back but the champions were able to open up a three-point lead on Dortmund and a two-point advantage on second-placed RB Leipzig.

"There were chances for both sides but we deservedly won the game in the end," Flick said.

"The way we fought today was great, despite having a couple of goals not given and the injury to Kimmich."

Substitute Sane's goal was his fourth in seven games this term and Flick is pleased with the added competition the winger has provided since overcoming a long-term injury.

"That is what we wanted," he said. "We wanted to fill our squad with high-quality players. If you bring him in, you get speed, quality and freshness on the pitch again.

"We are happy that he scored after he came on. But he is not quite yet at 100 per cent."


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