Friday, November 22, 2019

Kovac warns Sule against rushing injury recovery to play at Euro 2020

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Oct 2019

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Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac warned Niklas Sule against rushing his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in order to feature for Germany at Euro 2020.

Sule, 24, went into a challenge with Augsburg’s Florian Niederlechner in the early stages of Saturday’s 2-2 draw in Bavaria and tore his ACL.

He underwent surgery the following day and is expected to miss the remainder of the season, while Bayern president Uli Hoeness said Sule “can forget the Euros, that’s all nonsense”.

Nevertheless, with more then seven months to go until Euro 2020 begins on June 12, some have suggested he could yet be of use to Joachim Low in the tournament.

Kovac urged him to be careful to not rush his rehabilitation, however.

Speaking ahead of Bayern’s Champions League clash with Olympiacos, Kovac said: “Niklas is an important part of the national team.

“But the injury is serious, but we cannot predict it the amount of time he’ll need, you have to give it the time needed and you have to be careful.

“It’s clear he’s motivated, but he cannot make the mistake of [returning] too early or too soon. We’ll give him all the time in the world.

“Sule is a very important part of the team, but we are at Bayern and have high-quality replacements, so I’m convinced we can compensate for the loss.”

Thomas Muller was once again only used as a substitute against Augsburg, with the forward recently going public with his frustration at a lack of starts this term.

He featured for only 10 minutes in the draw, but Kovac insists he still sees the 30-year-old as a key player.

“I understand the questions about Muller, but I hope you understand me as well,” he said.

“Thomas is an important part of the team, but whether he plays tomorrow [Tuesday] or in the coming weeks, you will see, but his value is undisputed.

“Muller always wants to play and of course he can also come on the right wing, he won the World Cup on the right wing. However, we also know that this is not his favoured position.

“But we have the squad we have. With [Philippe] Coutinho we got a player who’s doing very well on the right.

“Also, against Augsburg I saw him do well and the number of games will ensure that everyone will play enough.”

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