Bayern Munich on Wednesday reacted shocked to the severe knee injury their France defender Lucas Hernandez suffered at the World Cup and pledged their full support.
Hernandez ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee early in the holder’s 4-1 win over Australia at the Qatar tournament on Tuesday and will be out for months and possibly even for the rest of the season. He was replaced by his brother Theo.
“Of course, we were all shocked and very sorry to hear that,” Munich board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic said in a statement by the Bundesliga champions.
“But Lucas is a fighter and will make a strong comeback. He’ll now leave Doha very soon, come to us, then have surgery and start his rehab in Munich, where he’ll be given every possible support.”
Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn tweeted: “Lucas’ injury is a big blow for us. But we know him: He is one of the international top players with the strongest will. Lucas is a top professional and will give everything to come back even stronger. FC Bayern stands by your side!”
Hernandez has had injury problems before and had only returned to action just before the World Cup after seven weeks on the sidelines with a groin injury.
He is the latest Bayern star out injured lately. Senegal’s Sadio Mane missed the World Cup after having to undergo surgery on a fibula injury sustained earlier in the month and is not likely to be fit again when the Bundesliga resumes in mid-January.
Morocco and Bayern defender Noussair Mazraoui also came off in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Croatia with a hip problem.
Hernandez suffered his injury in the ninth minute of the game when he tried in vain to prevent Mathew Leckie from crossing to Craig Goodwin for Australia’s opening goal.
France coach Didier Deschamps had even before the final diagnosis labelled Hernandez’s injury “the big black spot tonight” and two-time scorer Olivier Giroud added that “we want to dedicate this match to him [Hernandez] because we are losing another colleague in this competition.”
It was later confirmed that Hernandez would face a lengthy rehabilitation. France have been rocked by several injuries with Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Presnel Kimpembe all ruled out of the World Cup before Les Bleus had played in Qatar.
“Like the whole group, players and staff, I am extremely sorry for Lucas,” Deschamps said.