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Dutch ace doubtful

Robben unlikely to feature in Leverkusen clash

Arjen Robben is rated very doubtful for Bayern’s home Bundesliga fixture against leaders Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday. Despite intensive treatment from the FCB medical unit and a tailored sports rehab training programme, the Dutch international continues to be troubled by a knee injury and could be ruled out completely when the Rhineland outfit visit Bavaria on Sunday.

“He’ll definitely not play from the start,” confirmed coach Louis van Gaal. The 25-year-old wide player suffered a reaction to a previous injury after reporting for duty with the Netherlands squad last week. Van Gaal said he was seriously considering omitting the player entirely from the 18-man squad for Sunday’s league encounter. “We don’t want to cause him another setback,” said the coach, with an eye on Wednesday’s crucial Champions League meeting with Maccabi Haifa.

In other team news, Danijel Pranjic and Edson Braafheid were forced to sit out Friday training with a seasonal flu. Two other flu victims have also been to the doctor for other reasons: Michael Rensing had dental surgery at the beginning of the week, and Andreas Görlitz underwent an operation on a toe. “We’ll have to wait and see,” said Van Gaal, “fortunately, we have an extra day before the match this time.”

On a positive note, Miroslav Klose resumed the team training programme on Thursday. Ivica Olic is a non-starter for the Leverkusen clash but should rejoin the squad early next week. Apart from Görlitz and Olic, Franck Ribéry is the other man definitely unavailable as he continues to work his way back from a patellar tendon injury.