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Training comebacks

Van Bommel, Ribéry and Contento rejoin squad

“Hey Bommel! Are you back?” With a mixture of astonishment and delight, and with a broad grin across his face, Thomas Müller greeted Mark van Bommel back onto the training ground, exchanging a vigorous high-five for good measure. After four weeks out with a knee injury, Van Bommel resumed the squad programme on Wednesday lunchtime – and he was not the only player taking that important step.

Franck Ribéry, sidelined for seven weeks with ankle ligament damage, and Diego Contento, who has been missing for six weeks following groin surgery, also rejoined their team-mates on the practice ground. And eight months after rupturing a cruciate ligament, Breno also completed part of the team workout while continuing his tailored sports rehab programme.

After the 90-minute session, in which the players were “unbelievably focused and determined,” according to the watching Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the comeback men returned to the dressing room exhausted but happy. “I enjoyed it and I feel good,” Ribéry informed The Frenchman no longer has any pain from the ankle, and is currently reporting to the weights room for extra training every day. “I’m not fit yet, so I have to train harder,” he explained.