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Right on track

Hamit Altintop toils towards comeback

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More often than not, Hamit Altintop has been the first of the senior squad to report for duty at the Säbener Strasse performance centre in recent weeks – and this despite the fact the Turkey international is currently sidelined with injury. Altintop is rigorously putting in the hours as he fights to recover fitness, although he is still some way off a competitive comeback.

“I’m in great shape and it’s all going according to plan,” the 25-year-old declared. After fracturing a metatarsal in late March, regaining fitness in record time, and turning in a stellar performance for his country at Euro 2008, the player suffered a stress reaction to the earlier injury and has been out of action since late August. He underwent a second corrective operation four weeks ago and has been recuperating ever since.

“It’s utterly frustrating,” confessed the midfielder, one of the surprise successes of Bayern’s overhauled squad last season. He had returned to Munich from the Euro “totally motivated,” determined to impress the new coaching team and build on his superb showing in Austria and Switzerland. “And then this. I was gutted.“