Munich - FC Bayern München defender Holger Badstuber has been ruled out for up to four months with a fresh thigh muscle injury.
The setback is the latest in a long line of injuries for the 26-year-old defender, who only made his comeback from a similar problem in February's 8-0 demolition of Hamburger SV. Badstuber is scheduled to undergo surgery in the coming days and is now likely to miss the beginning of next season.
"Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed at the moment," Badstuber told fcb.de on Thursday. "Nevertheless, I'm staying positive and will come back fit and healthy. I know FC Bayern are doing everything in their power to enable me to become a key part of the team again."
"We're so sorry for Holger," added executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "He worked so hard towards his latest comeback, and now this. But we've come to know and value Holger as a fighter. He won't allow himself to be discouraged by this new injury. He knows how important he is to us. That will spur him on during his rehabilitation and help him recover his fitness as quickly as possible."
Having missed 20 months of action with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered against Borussia Dortmund during the 2012/13 campaign, Badstuber made his long-awaited Bundesliga comeback against VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 1, but suffered a torn thigh tendon in the 2-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart three weeks later. Badstuber's operation will take place in the coming days and will be performed in Vail, USA.
Borussia Dortmund wished Badstuber a speedy recovery via Twitter on Thursday: