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Knee surgery due

Schweinsteiger hoping to retain central role

Dr. Ulrich Boenisch is expecting a new patient, but the surgeon will have to be patient himself for a short while longer, as the Germany party which sets off for a tour of Asia on Tuesday evening will include Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Bavarian-born FCB midfielder already has 65 caps to his name, and is thus the most experienced member of Joachim Löw’s 17-strong squad. He is likely to reach 67 senior appearances after the Euro 2008 runners-up have completed their games against China in Shanghai on Friday, and four days later against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

Once the 24-year-old returns home, he will undergo minor surgery to correct a mucuous membrane irregularity in his left knee. “It’s nothing serious,” Schweini told the Bild tabloid. Renowned specialist Dr. Boenisch will perform the operation himself at Hessingpark hospital in Augsburg.

Löw’s praise for Schweinsteiger

“Bastian was determined to make the trip. There’s no extra risk,” Germany coach Joachim Löw said on Monday. “It’s symbolic of how much the players are looking forward to the last two internationals of the season." With the Germany squad shorn of a raft of senior stars, Schweinsteiger must be in with a decent shout of captaining his country in both matches.

The player is unlikely to land the job at Bayern for a while yet, but the Munich youth product has cemented his status as a reliable regular this term. Five Bundesliga goals are a new personal best, as are his 12 assists, the joint highest total at FCB last term alongside Franck Ribéry.

Decent season

“I think it’s been a decent season from me,” Schweinsteiger told That was especially true of the last few matches, where Bastian filled a central midfield role “and we got some good results as a team. It was very enjoyable. That’s the position where I feel most comfortable.” His verdict on the climax to the campaign was unsurprisingly “very, very positive.”

Schweinsteiger spent most of his youth career in the middle of the park, although he has generally operated on either flank since turning pro. But the 24-year-old, who inked a contract extension keeping him at Bayern until 2012 at the end of last year, is keen to retain his new central role. “I hope I’ll be asked to play there next season.” However, that will be a decision for new boss Louis van Gaal. “We’re all curious and excited about his arrival,” Schweinsteiger commented.