Bundesliga top-scorer and Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski has not travelled with the rest of the squad for their training camp in Doha, Qatar and will instead step up his recovery from groin surgery in Munich.
His Bayern teammates, meanwhile, touch down in the middle east on 4 January, spending 10 days at Qatar’s Aspire Academy before returning to Germany to take on Bundesliga 2 outfit Nuremberg in a friendly at the Max Morlock Stadium on 11 January.
Despite the injury, Lewandowski has been in devastating form so far this season, scoring a league-leading 19 goals from 17 appearances.
Watch: All of Robert Lewandowski's 2019/20 goals so far
Along the way, Lewandowski has plundered a number of records; becoming the first player in Bundesliga history to reach double figures after the first six matchdays of a campaign and the first to score in each of the opening 11 games of a German top-flight season, while moving third on the all-time list of Bundesliga top-scorers.
He also leads the race for the European Golden Shoe and has been exceptional in European competition too, heading the UEFA charts for most goals in either the Champions League or Europa League.
Lewandowski hit 10 Champions League goals as Bayern became only the seventh team to win all three group games in a single season to set-up a last-16 showdown against English Premier League club Chelsea.
Bayern strategically planned Lewandowski's operation to ensure he featured as much as possible during the first half of the campaign and his time in recovery was spent during the domestic break, in order to make sure the Poland captain is fit for their Rückrunde assault on domestic and European glory.
And Bayern are confident that the record foreign goalscorer in German top flight history will be fit for the reigning champions’ resumption of league duties at Hertha Berlin on Matchday 18 come 19 January.