Created on 09-07-2009 at 00:00 AM
In his first match as FCB coach, Friday evening’s friendly away to Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, Louis van Gaal is without half-a-dozen members of his senior squad. Lucio and Luca Toni are on extended leave, Franck Ribéry, Christian Lell and Bastian Schweinsteiger are injured, and Ivica Olic is serving the first of a three-game German FA suspension collected in his time with Hamburg.
Ribéry was again unable to train on Thursday with bursitis, an inflammation of the mucus sac in his left knee. The French international had an MRI scan in the morning and reported for intensive therapy afterwards. The player will complete a special rehab programme over the weekend before resuming the team schedule on Monday.
Schweini forced to be patient
Christian Lell was similarly unable to train with the squad. The right-back is suffering from paronychia, another form of inflammation, affecting his big toe. He has been ruled out of Friday’s match in front of a full house at the Red Bull Arena, and Saturday’s annual “Dream Game” against De rodn Waginga fan club. The 24-year-old is expected to resume the squad programme early next week.
Patience continues to be the order of the day for Bastian Schweinsteiger. Following a round of knee surgery on 4 June, the Germany star is still working his way through rehab training. “I thought it would all heal quicker than this,” the 24-year-old commented ruefully, admitting he would “much rather be out on the pitch” than working out alone in the performance centre.
Lucio and Toni back in a week
Running, cycling and weights are the order of the day for Schweinsteiger just now. “It’s already a lot better and everything’s going OK,” reported the player, who hopes to start the team programme by the time of the Donaueschingen training camp at the latest. Confed Cup combatants Lucio and Luca Toni will also be present by then, as they are scheduled to begin pre-season on 16 July. Olic, meanwhile, is likely to feature in a match for the first time during the T-Home Cup in Gelsenkirchen on the weekend of 18 to 19 July.