Joshua must listen to his body and mind - Flick to make late call on Kimmich selection

By Sports Desk December 15, 2020

Joshua Kimmich needs to listen to his body and decide whether he is physically and psychologically ready to return to action, according to Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.

The 25-year-old has not featured for Bayern since November 7 when he suffered a right lateral meniscus injury against Borussia Dortmund.

He was not expected to play again until late January at the earliest after undergoing surgery but returned to light training earlier this month and was involved in a full session on Monday.

With Leon Goretzka joining Javi Martinez on the sidelines, Kimmich could return to action ahead of schedule in Wednesday's Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg.

Flick will let the versatile midfielder have the final say on his selection as Bayern look to extend their 13-match unbeaten run against visitors Wolfsburg in all competitions.

"Joshua needs to listen to his body and see how his knee copes with the strain," Flick said at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"Playing after an injury like that is just as much a psychological thing, though. He needs to weigh it all up and then we can decide together whether he can play."

Bayern have won five and lost one of the six league games Kimmich has started this term - an 83 per cent win rate, which falls to 40 per cent in the five games he has missed (two wins and three draws).

He has a goal and four assists in those six league games, creating 12 chances in all, and has completed an average of 40.8 passes in the opposition half per 90 minutes - second only to Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro (48.95).

Asked if Kimmich would replace Goretzka, Flick said: "There are several possibilities and you are welcome to puzzle over them."

Bayern's recent wobble continued at the weekend as they dropped points in the league for the third time in four matches in a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin.

Robert Lewandowski scored at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei to take his tally for the season to 13 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances.

He is the favourite to be crowned The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2020 later this week and Flick has once again thrown his support behind the prolific Poland international.

"It would be nice if he could add a goal or two tomorrow," Flick said. "Obviously, being elected world footballer on Thursday is his big dream.

"There is no one who has deserved it this season as much as Robert.

"The whole team, the club and the fans keep their fingers crossed for him that this will come true, and we'll all be happy if he wins the vote."

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