Bayern taking no risks with Martinez as he sits out start of DFB-Pokal defence

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Bongarts
The German giants face Energie Cottbus in cup competition and Niko Kovac says a Spanish midfielder is injured while Lucas Hernandez remains a doubt

Bayern Munich will begin their defence of the DFB-Pokal without midfielder Javi Martinez after head coach Niko Kovac confirmed the Spain international is out with a knee injury.

Martinez was missing from Bayern's squad for the 2-0 DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund and has been ruled out of the trip to Energie Cottbus on Monday.

The 30-year-old's last appearance came during Bayern's 6-1 Audi Cup win over Fenerbahce in July and Kovac said he would not make the trip to Cottbus.

"Everyone's available apart from Javi," Kovac told reporters.

"Javi Martinez fell on his knee and was in pain, so we're not taking any risks."

Kovac indicated that close-season signing Lucas Hernandez would not be rushed back into action following his recovery from knee surgery.

"We're taking things slow with Lucas," Kovac, whose side get their Bundesliga campaign underway on Friday when Hertha BSC travel to Allianz Arena, said of the former Atletico Madrid defender.

Hernandez has declared himself to be ready for duty.

He made a long-awaited debut for Bayern in a crushing 23-0 win over local side FC Rottach-Egern.

The Frenchman said after that one-sided contest: "I feel very well, I'm at 100 per cent. I have no discomfort, I feel physically very well and I'm ready to compete 100 per cent."

Kovac may opt to ignore those comments, but the Bayern coach says his players will take nothing for granted against Cottbus, who were relegated to the fourth tier of German football at the end of 2018-19 season.

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"The atmosphere in the team is good, the boys get along - on and off the pitch," said Kovac.

"Cottbus were unfortunately relegated from the third league and we know how difficult it is to play in Cottbus.

"We have two titles to defend and that's what we want to do. You don't achieve anything by sitting back and doing nothing. It's better to get things done sooner rather than later."

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