Munich - Amidst a glorious, potentially treble-winning season for FC Bayern Munich, one might pause to spare a thought for .
The German international defender has been out of action since the middle of December with a torn cruciate ligament and as it stands, seems unlikely to return to first-team action until the end of the calendar year.
In his absence, Bayern raced to the fastest Bundesliga title in history, breaking one record after another along the way, before claiming the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2001 with victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. Badstuber was not even able to witness that triumph first-hand, following the game instead from the clinic of renowned knee surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado.
The 24-year-old defensive specialist had been earmarked to return to pre-season training over the summer, in time for the start of the 2013/14 campaign. However, while on the comeback trail from the original injury sustained against Dortmund in December, he suffered a re-rupture in mid-May.
As to his future at FC Bayern, director of sport Matthias Sammer has been unequivocal: “We will give him all the time he needs. We're optimistic and I'm confident Holger will come back stronger than ever.”