Thiago returns to Bayern Munich with swelling in troublesome right knee

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Thiago Alcantara’s troublesome right knee has struck again.

The 24-year-old was subbed off in the 27th minute  of Spain’s 2-0 friendly win over England on Friday, and Saturday the Spanish soccer federation confirmed he has withdrawn from the squad and returned to Bayern Munich with swelling in his knee.

“He carried out an MRI scan and results show an edema in the proximal insertion of the medial collateral ligament on his right knee caused by indirect trauma suffered in the match against England,” the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said in a statement on their official website.

“Taking into account the operations the player has undergone and as a matter of prevention, it has been decided for the player to leave the Spain camp and carry out further tests and work with Bayern Munich’s medical staff, who have been in constant contact with Spain’s staff since the footballer left the pitch at the Spain-England friendly.”

He will miss the Spain friendly with Belgium on Tuesday, and could miss significant time for his club as well should this injury prove a relapse of previous issues.

Thiago has previously undergone two surgeries to repair ligament damage in his right knee, the latest coming last October after a setback in recovery to the original injury from in early 2014. That caused him to miss most of last season for both club and country. He’s played in 12 Bundesliga matches this campaign, but hasn’t started since mid-October, with Pep Guardiola preferring a more attacking midfield, leaving Arturo Vidal by himself in front of the back line, or pairing Vidal with the aging Xabi Alonso.