Joshua Kimmich has expressed his regret at not getting vaccinated against Covid -19 sooner after revealing he will be out of action for Bayern Munich until January.
After contracting the virus in November, the 26-year-old is continuing to experience minor lung issues and despite resuming light training at Sabener Strasse, he is not well enough to feature for Julian Nagelsmann’s side in their final two Bundesliga matches of 2021.
As such a high-profile sports star in Germany, Kimmich’s decision to go public with his unvaccinated status back in October provoked uproar, but the 64-cap international thinks now that it was a necessary part of his thought process.
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"Broadly, it was just difficult for me to deal with my fears and concerns, and that's why I remained undecided for so long,” Kimmich told German TV channel ZDF.
"Maybe I had to go through what I have now gone through first.
Of course, looking back, I would like to make the vaccination decision earlier, but at the time it wasn't possible for me."
And it wasn’t just the illness that attacked Kimmich, with the midfielder expressing his feelings about the strength of criticism directed towards him from all sides.
"I have to say personally that some of the limits have been exceeded," the versatile midfielder said.
"I also had the feeling that there was one or the other who tried to distinguish themselves through this situation.
“It wasn't always just objective criticism."
Kimmich – while still being treated as in recovery from the virus – revealed that he won’t be able to get vaccinated just yet, but that he would once he was out of that phase.
The ex-RB Leipzig man isn’t the first to experience worrying after-effects of Covid-19.
Everton defender Ben Godfrey caught it in August and has struggled since, with sources close to the club telling The Athletic that his heart has been swollen and that he was unable to train as a result.
The 23-year-old revealed his suffering to the Everton website recently.
“I’d be blowing in the first few minutes – it was mad," he said. "I’d make a sprint and it’d feel like I’d played 88 minutes, even though it was five minutes into a game.
“You can’t describe it unless you’ve experienced it. It was like you had someone else’s body.”
On social media, German health minister Professor Karl Lauterbach praised Kimmich's decision to get his vaccination, and said that those hesitant about the vaccine needed to be spoken to “in a more targeted way”.
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