Gnabry tests positive for global virus, to miss Bayern's Champions League opener
Bayern Munich and German winger Serge Gnabry will miss the opening match of his side's UEFA Champions League title defence after he tested positive for the global virus, the Bundesliga giants confirmed via a short statement on Tuesday.
“Serge Gnabry, 25, has tested positive for (the virus). The FC Bayern attacker is otherwise in good health and is self-isolating at home,” the statement read.
It was the reigning European champions’ first case of the global virus in the squad and rules Gnabry out of Wednesday's Champions League group stage opener against Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena.
The Bavarians’ statement didn’t clarify whether Gnabry’s positive test would impact any other member of their squad considering that he was a part of the club's training session on Tuesday morning.
His teammates are set to undergo further tests on Wednesday morning and even if more players from the squad tested positive, it would not necessarily lead to the game against Atletico being postponed.
UEFA rules state that games can go ahead as per schedule if a team has 13 available players, including at least one goalkeeper. However, Bayern will be hoping that local authorities don’t ask the entire squad to quarantine.
One of their most influential players in the wide areas, Gnabry will undoubtedly be missed against Atletico. He scored a hat-trick for Bayern in the opening week of the Bundesliga and is likely to be replaced by Douglas Costa, who’s with Bayern on loan from Juventus for his second stint with the German club.
Gnabry’s absence is a second setback in the wide areas for Bayern this season after Leroy Sane had earlier been sidelined due to injury.
Furthermore, the German’s form in the Champions League is something that Bayern will miss. He was sensational for them in Europe’s top continental competition last season, netting nine times and providing two assists.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Christof Stache