Thomas Tuchel fears that Matthijs de Ligt may only be able to make his comeback at Bayern Munich after the winter break. The 24-year-old defender was on the training field on Monday, but his coach is pessimistic about his recovery period.

Tuchel Pessimistic About De Ligt's Return

De Ligt, having just secured a starting position in the absence of Dayot Upamecano, himself suffered an injury to the medial ligament of a knee. The former Ajax and Juventus player has been sidelined for the entire month of November and was also absent from the Dutch national team last week. And Tuchel does not see the central defender returning anytime soon. 'My feeling is that he will not be back before the end of the calendar year.'

This would mean that De Ligt will also miss the remaining two matches in the group stage of the Champions League and the four league games Bayern has before the winter break. The Leiderdorp native will certainly be absent on Wednesday evening when FC Copenhagen visits South Germany. Jamal Musiala will also be missing. The talented dribbler has not yet fully recovered from a hamstring injury.


Bayern, with twelve points from four matches, is already assured of winning their group, but Tuchel does not want his team to slacken and is therefore unsure whether to rotate. 'If we do, it's only because we want to keep the team hungry. It's still a Champions League match. We're on a good run and we don't want to break that. We don't want to send the signal that this match is less important to us.'

Moreover, Bayern's honor is at stake. The German record champions have not lost a group match in the Champions League for six years. 'That's a very impressive streak. It almost startled me,' said Tuchel. 'It shows the strength of the club and how it's infused with a winning mentality. It's our duty to continue this streak. We have to play with the same passion tomorrow as always.'