Created on 29-10-2007 at 00:00 AM
Clubs with the name Borussia feature strongly on the Bayern agenda right now: after battling to a goalless draw away to Borussia Dortmund on Sunday, the Bundesliga leaders now face Borussia Mönchengladbach, currently top of the second division, in front of a capacity Allianz Arena crowd on Wednesday evening. As it stands at the moment, Munich will still be without influential midfielder Franck Ribery.
“Franck remains very doubtful for Wednesday,” Ottmar Hitzfeld announced at the Säbener Straße on Monday lunchtime, “in fact, I’m assuming he won’t be fit.” Ribery has been restricted to jogging for more than a week with a knee problem. “The treatment’s slowly having an effect. He spent 45 minutes on the training ground yesterday and he’ll manage an hour today, although he can’t kick a ball yet,” Hitzfeld reported.
Hitzfeld: Kahn needs squad sessions
Turning to the other names on the injury roster, Hitzfeld was unable to say when Oliver Kahn would return in goal. “The goalkeeping programme alone isn’t enough, he also needs some intensive workouts with the team, and we hardly have the time for that this week,” the coach explained. Bayern are currently deep into a punishing schedule featuring seven games in the space of 21 days.
Following surgery on a damaged elbow four weeks ago, Kahn named this Saturday’s home Bundesliga meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt as a comeback target, but Hitzfeld was unwilling to commit to a firm date on Monday. The same applies to full-back Willy Sagnol.
Rotation against Gladbach?
The France star has almost recovered from cartilage damage sustained back in April and is pursuing an intensive individual training programme, “but he won’t be ready to play again for at least three weeks,” Hitzfeld reported. “We’re taking each day as it comes. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on the player and I’ll talk to him. Then I’ll take a decision on his comeback, making sure both parties are happy with it,” the coach explained.
After the energy-sapping outings in Belgrade and Dortmund, it would not come as a major surprise if Hitzfeld opted to rest a clutch of players and hand match practice to the likes of Andreas Ottl and Philipp Lahm. However, the coach will only make up his mind after final training on Tuesday: “I’m going to wait and see how far the players have recovered.“