Created on 30-07-2008 at 00:00 AM
Big-name stars Luca Toni, Franck Ribéry, Tim Borowski and Hans Jörg Butt were all missing when the Bayern party took off for Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon. While Jürgen Klinsmann and his team were aboard their Lufthansa flight to the Japanese capital, the four injured players were busily working their way back towards full fitness at the Säbener Strasse.
“They’ll perform intense rehab training over the next few days, and they’ll be totally knackered afterwards,” Klinsmann told fcbayern.de shortly before take-off from Munich. Toni and Co will report to the performance unit under Oliver Schmidtlein and Darcy Norman, and physios Fredi Binder and Giovanni Bianchi. The four recuperating players have been assigned individual schedules depending on the severity and nature of their injuries, working out on the exercise bike or completing stabilisation, power and stamina-building routines.
Ribéry still in plaster
Franck Ribéry, still in plaster after surgery to repair ankle ligament damage, is the most restricted in his training options. The Frenchman is likely to undergo a scheduled operation on Friday to remove a surgical screw inserted six weeks ago to stabilise the injured joint. Ribéry himself is hoping to be fit by early or mid-September. By contrast, Butt is up and running again after a muscle strain kept him out of action at the weekend.
Butt, Borowski and Toni’s chances of appearing on 5 August in the Franz Beckenbauer Cup meeting with Inter Milan were “very, very slim,” according to Klinsmann. None of the players is expected back on the training ground until early next week, “one after another” depending on any reactions to the original injuries. The trio must all be rated doubtful for the DFB German Cup tie away to Erfurt on 10 August.
Deja-vu for Toni
Toni will be feeling a strong sense of deja-vu after a similar pattern to pre-season last summer. The lanky Italian tore muscle fibres in his calf and was not fit in time for the Cup first round trip to Wacker Burghausen. Just a few days later, he fired Bayern’s first goal of the new Bundesliga season in a 3-0 opening day victory over Hansa Rostock.