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‘It’s looking good’

Schweinsteiger closes in on comeback

Bastian Schweinsteiger is finally set for a comeback from injury, and could appear for the first time in three months when Bayern meet FC Albstadt 07 in a friendly on Sunday, the Germany star told a news conference at the club’s Donaueschingen training camp.

“It’s looking very good,” the 22-year-old commented. Schweinsteiger last played competitively on 7 April in Hanover before falling victim to a knee inflammation. The player has “taken it carefully” in pre-season so far, “but I’ve had no problems with the knee,” he insisted.

Taking nothing for granted

After weeks of frustration in which he could not even stretch or jog, the player has suffered a few minor strains since resuming a restricted version of the team training programme. However, he is now determined to achieve the fitness levels of the rest of the squad “in a week at the latest.”

Four weeks in advance of the Bundesliga opener at home to Hansa Rostock, Bastian is upbeat about the team’s prospects for the coming season. “Obviously, we want to win all our matches, and win the league, the Cup and the UEFA Cup,” he declared. “Our aim is to play attractive, effective and successful football.“

Overcoming obstacles

Bayern’s star-studded line-up was in itself no guarantee of success, he conceded. “Winning the league will be hard for us as a team. Everyone says we’re invincible. There will be a few obstacles placed in our path, so it’s up to us to clear them out of our way.”

Schweinsteiger remains confident of winning a regular starting berth. “My first priority is to regain full fitness,“ he explained, setting a target of the German Cup first round trip to Burghausen on 6 August. “And provided I deliver the goods, I’ll play regularly for Bayern and for Germany.”

Profiting from Ribéry

With Franck Ribéry set to fill one of the positions on the flanks, Bastian is not staking a claim to any particular shirt. “That’s up to the coach. I’ll give it 100 percent, and we’ll see what happens after that.“

After ten days together with his new team-mate and rival for a place on the left wing, the youngster professed himself extremely impressed. “Franck is a very good, technically gifted footballer, and I can learn a lot from him. I’m really looking forward to playing with him.”