Manuel Neuer has rocked Bayern Munich with news of his broken right leg after the club captain suffered the season-ending injury on a skiing holiday.
The goalkeeper fractured his lower right leg in a fall on Friday and has already undergone surgery, with the calamitous setback coming just days after Germany tumbled out of the World Cup in the group stage.
Bayern must decide whether second-choice keeper Sven Ulreich takes over the gloves for the rest of the season, or if Neuer’s injury should prompt a move for an elite replacement in the January transfer window.
Ulreich filled in when a shoulder problem kept Neuer sidelined earlier in the season, and Bayern have won all eight games in 2022-23 when the 34-year-old has started, conceding just six goals.
Former Germany Under-21 goalkeeper Alexander Nubel is in the second year of a two-year loan to Monaco, where he has been a first-team regular, and it is not yet known whether Bayern may look to recall the 26-year-old.
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said: “The news of Manuel’s injury shocked us all. We will stand by him and accompany him on his way to his comeback.
“He will also overcome this serious injury and return to the pitch as strong as before.”
In a statement on the club’s website, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: “The fact that Manuel had such an accident is terrible, and of course all our thoughts are with him.
“I spoke with him yesterday and today, and the surgery went as well as possible. Manuel will receive all the support he needs.
“He is a strong personality and will come back. I wish him all the best, he can rely on FC Bayern!”
Germany boss Hansi Flick also sent his best wishes, saying: “We wish Manu a speedy recovery!”
Our captainwill miss the rest of the season after breaking his leg skiing.
Hansi Flick: “We wish Manu a speedy recovery!”
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN)
Neuer, 36, would have been hoping to play a key role in Bayern’s pursuit of silverware in the Bundesliga and Champions League after the World Cup break.
He said the injury occurred while he was “trying to get my head clear” after the misery of Germany’s early exit in Qatar.
Bayern face a daunting last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, while they are due to return to Bundesliga action on January 20 against RB Leipzig.