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'I’m ready again’

Lahm poised for weekend comeback

In Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz, November the eleventh is a very special day, as it marks the start of the so-called ‘fifth season’ of the year, the period known as Karneval or Fasching which culminates on Rose Monday and Mardi Gras on the eve of Lent. The date is not without significance at Bayern either, as it is Germany international Philipp Lahm’s birthday.

The Munich native and FCB youth product turned 25 on Tuesday. And what was top of his birthday wish-list this year? “More than anything else, I want to stay fit,” Lahm replied. The full-back has just recovered fitness after a foot injury.

Praise for deputy

Lahm sustained the injury in Bayern’s home Champions League meeting with Fiorentina three weeks ago, but he is healthy again now and raring to go. “I’m ready again, and I guess I’ll be playing on Saturday,” he said.

Lahm resumed the squad training programme last Friday. A return in Sunday’s trip to Schalke was deemed too early, but he is determined to feature when Bayern travel to Monchengladbach next Saturday. The Germany international praised Zé Roberto, his stand-in over the last three weeks: “Zé did really well at left-back.“

The man who came third at the 2006 World Cup with Germany is impressed with the progress made by the FCB team recently. “It’s improved a lot. We’re not conceding as often, but there are still a few things we need to do better.“ A run of five consecutive Bundesliga victories had done wonders for the team’s self-confidence. “Our rivals have spotted we’re there or thereabouts again at the top.“ Lahm is now keen to play his part in Bayern moving back to the summit in the standings.