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Focus on fitness

Klose withdrawn from squad for Dortmund

The Bayern party has set off for Saturday’s Bundesliga fixture away to Borussia Dortmund without Miroslav Klose. In a meeting between the striker and head coach Louis van Gaal after Friday training, it was agreed that the 31-year-old Germany international would be withdrawn from the squad to face Dortmund, and would instead report to the Säbener Strasse on Saturday for an intensive training workout.

“I’m still not at 100 percent, even after scoring two goals [for Germany in midweek]. I need fitness to play decent football, and I’m a long way short of that,” Klose declared after coming on as a second-half substitute for his country against Azerbaijan. At the time, the experienced player stated his intention to discuss the matter with Van Gaal. “If I travel to our upcoming games, I won’t be able to train as much. We’ll find a solution,” he continued.

Individual programme

At a news conference on Friday, Van Gaal said Klose’s statement came as “no surprise. I’d already talked to him about it two weeks ago.” With Mario Gomez, Ivica Olic, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry, the coach feels he has “quite enough attacking players” to cover for Klose’s absence.

Klose will now spend a week in Munich on a tailored sports rehab training programme, designed to boost his fitness level. The striker will be omitted from the squad for next Tuesday’s Champions League opener in Tel Aviv, unless any more of the forwards sustain injuries in Dortmund or in training. “In that case, we’ll obviously include Klose,” commented Van Gaal.