Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes expects Germany defender Mats Hummels to start Wednesday’s German Cup tie at RB Leipzig despite suffering an ankle injury at the weekend.
“Mats took a knock to the bone, only microfibres have been damaged, which doesn’t mean much,” revealed Heynckes in Tuesday’s press conference.
“The injury isn’t so bad that he can’t play from the start. He will be treated further, but I assume he’ll start.”
Hummels’ inclusion in the squad is good news for Bayern after stand-in captain Thomas Mueller was ruled out for the next three weeks with a torn hamstring which he suffered in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Hamburg.
Stars Manuel Neuer, Juan Bernat and Franck Ribery are already sidelined long-term with injury.
Alongside Hummels, Kingsley Coman, who picked up a knee knock at Hamburg, and Javi Martinez, back after a shoulder injury, are included.
The Cup clash is a mouth-watering prospect and is by far the stand-out tie of the second round.
Bayern are second in the Bundesliga behind leaders Borussia Dortmund on goal difference, with RB Leipzig just a point behind in third.
“The atmosphere in the team is a mixture of concentration and joyful anticipation of the task ahead,” said RB coach Ralph Hasenhuettl ahead of the tie at the Red Bull Arena.
The Leipzig coach has injury concerns in Portuguese forward Bruma, who has a thigh injury, and defender Stefan Ilsanker (toe).
It is unclear whether Germany striker Timo Werner will play despite making his return in Saturday’s 1-0 league win at home to VfB Stuttgart.
Werner came off in the 2-0 Champions League defeat at Besiktas last month complaining of dizziness, which revealed a problem with the muscles in his spine.
“You could see he was not quite right,” said Hasenhuettl after Werner played for 61 minutes against Stuttgart.
“You’d be reluctant to leave him out, we have to see how fresh he is and how much time he needs.”
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