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Long wait on Demichelis and Lucio

Lell poised to resume squad programme

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The 500 or so fans who made their way to first-team training at the Säbener Strasse on Wednesday were well rewarded for their efforts, despite the absence of the club’s current international stars. Jürgen Klinsmann, Luca Toni, Tim Borowski and the rest of the rump squad invested plenty of time in autograph-signing and posing for snaps, with long-term injury absentees Willy Sagnol, Hamit Altintop and Christian Lell also appearing briefly for the supporters. The last-named will soon be spending rather more time on the practice ground, as Lell is on the verge of resuming the team programme.

“He’s close to rejoining us. I reckon he’ll be back by Friday at the latest,“ Klinsmann informed Some three weeks after stretching his right hamstring, Lell is fit enough for the practice facility and will rejoin the full squad at some point next week. “By then he should be OK,“ Klinsmann said, “but Saturday’s game in Karlsruhe is too early.“

Lell feeling ‘relatively’ fit

Lell could even be back in the matchday squad for next Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Fiorentina. “I’m feeling relatively fit,“ he told The defender is pleased with the speed of his recovery. “It’s gone nice and fast. Normally I’d have been out for four weeks.“ Instead, the right-back is on course to beat that prognosis by a week.

Otherwise, the coaching staff are anxiously awaiting the return of the internationals from spells with their national squads. The main body is due back on Thursday, although Martin Demichelis and Lucio will not be back in Munich until Friday, just a day before the Karlsruhe trip. “It’s really stressful for both of them,“ commented Klinsmann, as the pair face long flights and inevitable jet lag after their South American World Cup qualifying appearances.

Non-ideal preparation

No-one is pretending that preparations for Karlsruhe will be easy. The rest of the team will be free to focus on tactical coaching on Friday, but regeneration will be the order of the day for Lucio and Demichelis. “We won’t even be able to train with the players we have in mind for Karlsruhe,“ Klinsmann observed. However, Christian Lell may at least be able to take his place in the squad come Friday.