The start of the 2023/24 campaign has been frustrating for Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutch defender lost his place in the starting XI at Bayern Munich to Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano. Things went from bad to worse when he suffered an injury against VfL Bochum at half-time, which was his only start for Die Roten this season.
De Ligt’s injury was initially expected to be a minor one, with a return to the squad against Freiburg on matchday seven of the Bundesliga was considered a likely scenario. However, the recovery has not gone as planned for De Ligt. According to Kicker (via iMiaSanMia), the Dutch international has been ruled out for the weekend’s game against Freiburg.
Matthijs de Ligt is likely to return to action after the international break. He will most likely stay at Sabner Strasse during the international break instead of joining the Dutch squad to continue his recovery.
Earlier this week, Bayern’s Sporting director Christoph Freund confirmed that De Ligt is still experiencing pain in the knee. Freund told Kicker that the Dutch defender is not far from making a return, but the recovery is taking longer than expected.
"“The pain is still quite severe, he can’t bend his knee very well yet. We hope he’ll be able to run again soon, but it might take a while.”"
Matthijs de Ligt started the game against RB Leipzig in DFB Pokal. However, he was substituted at half-time when Die Roten were 3-0 down at Allianz Arena. Upamecano and Kim Min-jae did well together in the second half, which eventually turned out to be a turning point for De Ligt at the start of the campaign.
The Dutch defender came off the bench to play in the defensive midfield position in the first few Bundesliga games. While talking to the media during the international break, De Ligt insisted that he was calmly waiting for his chance to play. Meanwhile, one German media outlet insisted that the Dutch defender is frustrated with the situation at Die Roten.
The former Juventus defender eventually got a chance to start for Bayern after the international break. He marked his return to the team with a goal against VfL Bochum. His good performance was abruptly halted by a knee injury in the first half. Thomas Tuchel and the Bavarian faithful will hope that De Ligt returns soon since there are limited natural options in central defense at Bayern.
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After a remarkable comeback win against FC Copenhagen on Tuesday, Bayern will look to get back to winning ways in the Bundesliga against Freiburg after the thrilling 2-2 draw against RB Leipzig. The Bavarian club is yet to lose a game in the league, but they have dropped points against Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. Courtesy of these two draws, they are currently third in the Bundesliga.