Munich - FC Bayern München have confirmed that midfielder Javi Martinez suffered cruciate ligament damage in Wednesday's 2014 Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund and will not play for the club again this year.
The 25-year-old went down after an innocuous-looking challenge in the first half and had to be replaced by team-mate Dante. He was stretchered from the pitch in visible distress and it was later confirmed that he suffered damage to the cruciate ligament in his left knee. He is expected to fly to Vail, Colorado, in the next few days, where he will undergo an operation. "Obviously I'm extremely sad right now, but you don't need to worry - I will come back stronger!" said the former Athletic Club man.
The news will come as a huge blow to Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who had been relying on Martinez to play a new centre-back role over the coming season. In a video posted by the Spain international on his Facebook page in the hours after Wednesday's game, Martinez said, "I've just spoken to the doctors and I'm 99 per cent sure it's a cruciate knee ligament injury. I'll find out for definite tomorrow. If it is a cruciate injury, I'll have an operation. It's extremely frustrating, but I'll come back stronger and a better player." The Bundesliga's record purchase has made 55 appearances in all competitions since joining the club in August 2012, winning seven trophies in the process.