Created on 16-11-2009 at 00:00 AM
Striker Ivica Olic is champing at the bit, ready to begin the task of regaining his place in the Bayern team. Some five weeks after rupturing a calf muscle while training with the Croatia national squad, Olic may be ready to resume the full training programme in just a day or two. "I'm close to full fitness. I'm very pleased with the way it's been going," the 30-year-old said in an exclusive FCB.tv Live Chat session on Monday.
The goal-getter has been back out on the practice ground for around a week now as he pursues a tailored sports rehab programme, and is poised to pass the next milestone in his journey towards 100 percent fitness. Olic will report to chief medical officer Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt for an MRI scan on Tuesday, "and he'll decide if I'm ready to rejoin the team," the player reported, "I'm hopeful everything will go well."
Ready to fight for a place
Olic has not given up hope of making the matchday squad for Sunday's crunch Bundesliga meeting with leaders Bayer Leverkusen. "But it'll only be if I'm completely fit, otherwise I can't help the team," the player continued, accepting that "I won't manage 90 minutes yet" following five weeks on the sidelines.
The former Hamburg man remains relaxed about the battle for places in the FCB forward line. "Reputations and names count for nothing at a club like Bayern, only goals," the Croat declared, insisting he was delighted to be up against rivals whose names are familiar around the world. "Up to now, all five of us have had plenty of playing time, because the boss gives everyone a chance. I think it's good the coach has so many options and has the chance to switch things around."
'We can progress in Europe'
The hard-running player remains relaxed about the club's less than optimal start to the new season. "We're still in the early stages, and we've lost nothing yet. We're still in three competitions." FCB would soon be back where they belong "with a decent run," Olic commented. However, the next league fixture at home to undefeated Leverkusen was critically important: "That's a game we have to win."
Olic also feels Bayern can make the knockout stages of the Champions League, even though that now depends on Girondins Bordeaux. "Obviously, there's still a chance. I don't believe Bordeaux will lose against Juve, which would put it back in our own hands. We have to make sure we beat Haifa, and then we'll have the same chance as Juve. It's all still open," Olic predicted, looking forward to a 'final' on 8 December in Turin.
Missed chance of World Cup
By contrast, Olic is not going to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. Croatia, third-place finishers at the 1998 tournament, could only finish third in their group behind England and Ukraine, who are now battling for a ticket to the finals in a play-off against Greece. "I've played at the World Cup twice, and it's the best thing football has to offer. It's a shame we didn't make it," Olic reflected, lamenting the failure to take his "last chance" of a shot at the biggest prize in the world game.