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Surprise return

Luca Toni resumes Munich training programme

Bayern began preparing for the weekend Bundesliga trip to Bochum on Tuesday, with Luca Toni a surprise member of the squad which reported for training at the Säbener Strasse. The 30-year-old chose to return to Munich early from international duty with Italy, 2-0 winners over Georgia in a Euro 2008 qualifier last Saturday and now scheduled to play a friendly against South Africa in Genoa on Wednesday.

“Luca arranged it with the coach,“ Ottmar Hitzfeld reported, after Toni personally asked Italy supremo Roberto Donadoni if he could be released early from national squad duty. “Obviously, we’re very pleased with his attitude. It’s a great help to Bayern Munich,“ Uli Hoeneß commented.

Focus on fitness and stamina

“We’re delighted to have Luca here for a week of intensive training,” said Ottmar Hitzfeld, ordering his players through a series of skill routines, weight training and stamina-building exercises on Tuesday morning. Eight-goal Toni’s return was not the only reason for the Bayern boss to be pleased, as a number of injured stars also resumed the squad workout.

Miroslav Klose played a full part in the team session after two weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury. “It was very good,” the club’s top scorer declared after the one-hour session. The striker reported no trace of pain. “We’ll have to wait and see how the leg reacts, but I have a good feeling about it,” Klose reported.

Focus on Bochum

Hitzfeld reckoned Klose had trained “extremely well” and voiced hopes that the 29-year-old might enter the frame for Saturday’s away trip to Bochum. Klose himself is keen to appear in the fixture. “I’m confident of playing in Bochum,” he remarked. The same applies to Zé Roberto, who resumed training on Tuesday after shaking off a heavy bout of flu.

Long-term absentees Willy Sagnol, Philipp Lahm and Valerien Ismael will have to wait a little longer before contemplating match action. The trio featured in Tuesday’s team session, but none is rated close to resuming first-team duty. “They all need plenty of time on the training ground,” Hitzfeld reported, although the injury situation at the club has eased considerably in recent days, with only Oliver Kahn restricted to an individual training programme after surgery on his elbow.