Werder Bremen rocked by Max Kruse injury
Photo: Kicker/Imago

Four days ahead of their opening Bundesliga encounter with Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen have been hit by the news that Max Kruse could be out for up to three months with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old forward sustained ligament damage to his left knee whilst playing in the club’s first competitive match of the season on Sunday, a disastrous 2-1 defeat to Sportfreunde Lotte in the DFB-Pokal.

It is not good news for Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik, who will also be without leading talisman Claudio Pizarro for the daunting trip to the Allianz-Arena on Friday night.

Not the start Kruse wanted at Bremen

The latest blow to Kruse came less than three weeks since his €6 million transfer from VfL Wolfsburg. He had spent just twelve months at the Volkswagen Arena, where he was blighted by off-the-field controversies.

He was hoping for a fresh start at his first club Bremen, who themselves are looking to move on from a season where they battled relegation from start to finish, and the arrival of Kruse was seen to be a big statement of intent.

Kruse started their game against 3. Liga side Lotte, but it was a miserable afternoon with goals from Matthias Rahn and Andre Dej condemning them to a fourth first round Pokal in six years, topped off by the injury sustained to his lateral ligament during the game, although he remained on the pitch until full time.

  • Kruse play a full 90 minutes in Lotte despite his injury. | Photo: Bild/dpa
    Kruse play a full 90 minutes in Lotte despite his injury. | Photo: Bild/dpa

Club waiting for further news

Sporting director Frank Baumann commentated after the news was announced on Monday that Kruse had “played through the pain” in Lotte. He added the club would know more about the extent of his injury after he sees a specialist in Munich on Tuesday.

However German newspaper Bild have already reported that Kruse could be set for a three month lay-off – hardly the new beginning he was hoping for.

Skripnik also commented on the news to the club’s website, saying that he was disappointed that Kruse would be out for some time. “We hope that Max recovers quickly and until then we will support him as much as possible,” he added.

Skripnik not signing ruling out a replacement

It leaves Bremen looking light up front ahead of their trip to Bayern, where they were beaten 5-0 last season. Aron Jóhannsson has begun training again after missed most of last season with a hip injury, although the game will come too soon for him, as it will for Pizarro for has had muscular problems in pre-season.

Baumann did suggest that the Peruvian could appear, but that it was unlikely. “We don’t want to take any risks because the last thing we want is for him to still be out after the international break,” he said.

Lennart Thy, who signed in the summer from FC St. Pauli, started against Lotte but failed to impress, although he would still be favourite to start against Bayern over 18-year-old Johannes Eggestein.

And Skripnik has not ruled out signing an additional striker before the close of the transfer window, although he refused to answer questions directly on the matter, simply stating "we have nine more days [to do a deal]."

Quotes via Werder Bremen and Kicker