Robben ruled out until 2019 as Bayern seek to avoid serious injury

The Bundesliga champions will not risk the Dutch winger in their final matches of 2018 in a bid to have him fully fit in the new year

Arjen Robben will not play again in 2018 due to concerns about aggravating a thigh injury, Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac has confirmed.

Robben, who turns 35 next month, missed the 3-3 Champions League draw with Ajax due to a muscle problem after also sitting out the most recent Bundesliga games against Nurnberg and Werder Bremen.

Kovac says the winger will be rested for Bayern's remaining three league games before their mid-season break in order to help him recover fully.

"He won't play again in this half of the season. The focus is on January 4," Kovac told a news conference.

"The doctors looked at it. It makes no sense for us to go into a major injury."

Bayern are heading into another run of three games in eight days, with Saturday's trip to Hannover followed by games against RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt next week.

Kovac intends to wait until after training on Friday before naming his team.

"We have one day less due to the Wednesday match than if we had played on Tuesday," he said. "We will decide who plays after training. We have to keep in mind that we have three games [in eight days]."

One player who will hope to return is Mats Hummels, who has not started a Bundesliga match since the 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund on November 10.

Kovac suggested the Germany centre-back is striving to win back his place with his efforts in training.

"It's not just him. Mats is a world champion, the others aren't, but the others also have a big name," he said.

"I know what Mats can do. You can rely on him, and others. I feel a special fire from these players in training."