Bayern Munich has revealed that central defender Niklas Sule is set for a long-term injury layoff after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee.
The incident occurred ten minutes into Die Roten's 2-2 draw with Augsburg, as Sule went up for an easy bouncing ball before pulling up mid challenge after an awkward movement, leaving him immediately grabbing his left knee.
Sule had been a key player for Bayern so far this season, lining up in central defesce alongside a variety of partners under Niko Kovac, but always being ever present in the Bundesliga. The news of the injury will come as a major blow to the Croatian boss, who will have to prepare for life without the German international for a significant length of time.
Speaking on the club's official website after the game, Kovac was upset with the performance, but more concerned about his key defender.
"We got off to a bad start. We mustn't let that happen, we had addressed it before the match. Two shots, two goals conceded, I'm annoyed. But Niklas Sule's injury is even worse. It isn't looking good. We must see what's happened, we're hoping for the best."
His worst fears were realized on Sunday, however, as revealed on Bayern's official Twitter page.
"Sadly, Niklas Sule did indeed suffer an ACL tear in his left knee yesterday and will undergo surgery later today. Get well soon, Niklas."
It has been an underwhelming start to the season by the Bavarian side, who has drawn three and lost one of its first eight matches. It's now third in the table behind surprise packages Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The club, however, is flying high in the Champions League, with two wins from its first two group matches, including a 7-2 humbling of Tottenham, and as a result it's top of Group B ahead of a clash with Red Star Belgrade.