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Three-week lay-off

Demichelis sidelined with serious facial injuries

Bayern will be without Martin Demichelis for at least the next three weeks after the FCB defender was stretchered from the field in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Germany on Wednesday evening. Demichelis sustained three facial fractures, to the eye socket (a so-called orbital floor fracture), the cheekbone and the upper jaw, and underwent surgery to repair the damage in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The 29-year-old will remain in hospital for the next two to three days, and has been ordered to rest completely for the following two weeks before commencing sports rehab training. Bayern chief medic Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt reckoned Micho will be “fit enough for everything, including playing,” in three weeks.

Out for at least four games

The centre-back is definitely out of Bayern’s Bundesliga fixtures away to FC Köln, at home to SC Freiburg and away to Eintracht Frankfurt, and next week’s Champions League Round of 16 return against Fiorentina in Florence. If his recovery goes according to plan, Demichelis could be in line for a return in the DFB Cup semi-final away to Schalke 04 on 24 March.

Demichelis was stuck in the face by Germany captain Michael Ballack’s knee in a collision after 54 minutes of the midweek friendly. After briefly receiving treatment on the field of play, Micho was carried off on a stretcher and taken straight to a Munich hospital, where the initial fears of a broken cheekbone were confirmed, and the other fractures also diagnosed.

Second lay-off of term

The latest setback represents the Argentina regular’s second long lay-off of the season. Just a few days before the start of the Bundesliga programme, he tore ligaments in his right ankle and was sidelined for eight weeks. However, Micho has started every Bundesliga fixture since Matchday 12, plus four Champions League matches and a DFB Cup quarter-final.

Fortunately, the injury does not mean Demichelis will be obliged to write off his hopes of a yearned-for World Cup appearance. “I have no doubt he’ll be fit in time,” Argentina team doctor Donato Villani was quoted as saying in local media. and all the club’s loyal fans wish Martin a full and speedy recovery.