Bayern Munich said that star midfielder Joshua Kimmich would not return to action until January as he recovers from lung damage caused by Covid-19.

Kimmich, who is unvaccinated, tested positive for coronavirus last month.

"I'm happy my self-isolation caused by the coronavirus has ended," said Kimmich, who is expected to be one of Germany's leading players at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"I'm doing very well, but I'm not yet able to train fully due to slight infiltrations in my lungs.

"I'll therefore do some rehabilitative training and can't wait to be fully back in action in January."

The midfielder will miss Bayern's home game against FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday, the away game at Stuttgart on December 14 and the final game of the year against Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena on December 17.

Kimmich sparked a vaccination debate in Germany last month when the 26-year-old admitted he had so far opted against being inoculated due to "personal reasons".

The news angered some Bayern fans, as spectators at football matches in Germany must prove they are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid, while the players they come to watch must only show a negative test result.

Bild and Kicker magazine both claimed that Kimmich's teammates Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala had allowed themselves to be vaccinated after being put in quarantine as contact cases.

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Germany head coach Hansi Flick also revealed last month that Kimmich had had a change of heart.

"I think it's going in the direction of 'Jo' getting vaccinated," he said at a German FA event.

Bayern reportedly told five unvaccinated players that their wages would be docked if they had to quarantine after refusing to have a jab.

One of newly-elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's first steps as head of government is expected to be passing a law to make vaccination compulsory from February or March next year.

Most of the political spectrum has rallied behind the previously controversial move although there has been a wave of public dissent against coronavirus curbs.

EU countries expected to agree nine-month duration of Covid pass

European Union countries are expected to agree to limit to nine months the duration of Covid-19 certificates for travel, two EU sources told Reuters, as talks continue about restrictions for inbound travellers from outside the bloc.

The EU executive commission proposed in November a nine-month validity limit for Covid-19 passes from the completion of the primary vaccine doses.

If applied, EU citizens wanting to travel freely next summer across the bloc would need a booster shot.

One EU official and one EU diplomat said EU governments were expected to reach a consensus on the nine-month limit as early as tomorrow, although one said talks could stretch into next week.

A third diplomat said there was general support for the nine-month limit, but some countries with lower vaccination rates were concerned about the impact this could have on travel.

EU governments have repeatedly said a common approach is needed to avoid further disruption for the travel industry.

Austria plans 14 as minimum age for vaccine mandate

Austria's planned coronavirus vaccine mandate has a minimum age of 14, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein has said.

The mandate, which is due to come into force in February, also includes fines of €3,600, Mr Mueckstein said, as he outlined details of the plan that must still be approved by parliament.

The government has said the mandate has the backing of two opposition parties, suggesting it should pass easily.