Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich said he regrets not making the decision to get a Covid-19 vaccine sooner after the midfielder was ruled out until January due to lingering effects of the novel coronavirus.
Kimmich, who has returned to light training but is struggling with minor lung issues after contracting Covid-19 in November, said last week he would miss the remainder of the year.
"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 ZDN on Sunday.
"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."
Kimmich revealed in October he was unvaccinated and the club came out in support of the player, a move that triggered a storm of criticism across Germany.
Joshua Kimmich has told ZDF in an exclusive interview to be broadcast on Sunday that he now regrets not getting vaccinated.— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) December 12, 2021
Kimmich:”For me it was just difficult to deal with my worries & concerns & therefore I was undecided for a long time.” He now plans to get vaccinated. https://t.co/yIFR7yo9zF
Kimmich said he understood the criticism that was directed his way but that some of it went too far.
"I have to say personally that some of the limits have been exceeded," the 26-year-old 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."
Bayern, who are six points clear in the Bundesliga, travel to face Stuttgart on Tuesday.