The defender admits his spell on the sidelines could be longer than expected as he recovers from injury
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has revealed his fractured ankle could keep him out of action until March.
The former Germany international suffered the injury on November 18 and underwent an operation which saw a plate inserted with six screws to secure the joint around the bone.
It was thought he could be fit in time to return at the start of 2015 and while he is yet to rule that out, it appears a later date may be more realistic.
“I won’t be back in January under any circumstances,” he told Bild.
“It could be February, but perhaps March. Luckily I don’t have the pressure of World Cup or European Championship qualifying.
“When the season reaches the key moment I will be back to 100 per cent fit.”
Even without their leader, Bayern appear on course to cruise to another Bundesliga title, their third in a row, after opening up a seven point lead at the top of the table, much to Lahm’s delight.
“It must be noted that this season we have everything under control. We’ve played with such consistency and tactical variation, we’ve never played like this before.
“The title is far from won, but if we carry on like we are then there can only be one winner, Bayern.”