Bayern Munich expect to be without Thiago Alcantara for "a few weeks" -- including their Bundesliga showdown at Borussia Dortmund -- after the Spain midfielder injured his ankle in a narrow German Cup win.
Bayern confirmed Wednesday that Thiago torn the outer ligament in his right ankle in a 2-1 win at fourth-tier Roedinghausen in the second round of the German Cup, which saw him carried off late in the game.
Thiago was one of the few Bayern stars in good form and his loss is a blow ahead of the Bundesliga showdown at leaders Dortmund in ten days which is shaping up to be a top-of-the-table clash.
With Bayern second in the German league table, sports director Hasan Salihamidzic has already said the loss of Thiago is bad "as he really matters to the team".
Head coach Niko Kovac is already without long-term injured French pair Kingsley Coman, who tore ankle ligaments in August, and Corentin Tolisso, who damaged knee ligaments in September.
Bayern have won their last four games, but looked jaded in recent weeks and the loss of Thiago is another blow after the team laboured in Osnabrueck against Roedinghausen's part-timers on Tuesday.
Bayern host mid-table Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday in the Bundesliga, then AEK Athens in the Champions League next Wednesday, having already beaten the reigning Greek champions 2-0 in Athens a fortnight ago, before the crunch showdown on November 10 at Dortmund.