Munich: Bayern Munich and Germany central defender Niklas Sule faces a long injury lay-off with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The injury occurred early in Bayern’s 2-2 draw at Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, when he landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge.

Bayern says Sule’s injury was diagnosed on Sunday by club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt and that he was to undergo surgery to repair the damage the same day.

The club says it’s a “tough blow” for both the player and team.

The 24-year-old Sule suffered a similar injury to the same knee during the 2014-15 season when he was playing for Hoffenheim.

Sule has started every competitive game for Bayern this season.

Germany coach Joachim Low says, “It’s very bitter news, in the first place of course for Niklas himself. All of us in the national team wish him a good recovery.”

Low says he is sure Sule will return, “but now we won’t put any pressure on him at all and we will support him as best as we can.”

Sule has made 24 appearances for Germany.