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Poldi out of Cottbus clash

Altintop resumes squad programme

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A quick glance at Hamit Altintop tells you something has changed: his beard has gone. The midfielder had been cultivating his facial hair since undergoing surgery on his broken metatarsal back in September, but he presented himself at the Säbener Strasse clean-shaven on Friday – for the very good reason that he was joining the squad training programme for the first time in 13 weeks.

“We’re really delighted for him,” commented Jürgen Klinsmann, “he’s fired up.” Naturally, the 25-year-old is not yet ready to play a part in Saturday’s meeting with Cottbus, but the Bayern coach said he could well imagine handing the Turkey star a first team run-out before Christmas. “He’s been working really hard in recent weeks, and he’s already relatively fit,” Klinsmann enthused.