Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will miss this weekend’s match against Bayer Leverkusen with an injury to his right hand, the club announced Friday.
The release did not go into more detail about Neuer’s injury or give a timetable for return, only confirming that he would not travel with the team for the road match. The club confirmed the injury happened in training and that he has remained in Munich to recover.
Neuer has come under fire for his form in net this season, with Bayern trailing Borussia Dortmund by six points in the title race. Bayern has conceded 20 goals in 19 matches so far this season, the fourth-best tally in the league, but they have recently shored things up. The club is on a run of seven wins from seven in league play and has conceded just three goals in that span.
Now, Neuer’s absence will create concern for his fitness with Champions League knockout stage play set to begin in less than two weeks. Bayern is matched with last year’s finalists Liverpool, and will want Neuer in goal to ensure it has the best chance of taking down the current Premier League leaders.
Likely to step in for Neuer this weekend and beyond is 30-year-old Sven Ulrich, who has served as Neuer’s backup since joining in the summer of 2015. Ulrich played the majority of last season as Neuer rode the bench with a foot injury, and had mixed reviews. He has not made a single appearance this season in any competition to this point. Bayern also has a pair of 19-year-olds on the roster in Christian Fruchtl and Ron-Thorben Hoffman.