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Daniel's dismay

Van Buyten: I really wanted to play in Marseille

Daniel van Buyten was the first man out of the Allianz Arena dressing room on Saturday, after congratulating his team-mates on the crucial home victory over Hannover. His broad smile was also due to a major milestone in his recovery from injury: he is finally able to walk without crutches. “It wasn't possible for nearly seven weeks. It was really tiresome," explained the Belgian, who broke a metatarsal in the post-Christmas restart fixture away to Gladbach.

The surgical repair involved the insertion of a metal plate, which was finally removed in early March. The centre back is now firmly on the road to recovery, and is working out daily as part of a intensive sports rehabilitation programme. His physical workload is being increased step by step, but Daniel still has to be very patient indeed. He is restricted to upper body exercise, stabilisation routines, and jogging on a special treadmill with a weight balancing function.

Comeback date not set

“I wasn't able to walk for almost seven weeks, and I even weigh less than 60 kg now, so my recovery is still going to take some time," reported Van Buyten, who has not set any kind of target date for a return to action. A lot will depend on how the injured foot reacts to the increased workload over the weeks to come. However, the 34-year-old is a fighter, and made a promise to all Bayern fans: “I'm doing all I can to return as soon as possible, and I hope to play a game or two before the end of the season."