Created on 21-08-2012 at 00:00 AM
Bastian Schweinsteiger's 15-minute appearance at the end of the DFB Cup tie against Regensburg was another important step en route to a comeback in the starting line-up. “It was important he had playing time," remarked Jupp Heynckes after sending on his vice-captain for the last quarter of an hour, “it definitely won't be long before he can play from the start."
Schweinsteiger has only been on the pitch for kick-off twice in the seven-week pre-season period, in the LIGA total! Cup two weeks ago and in last week’s friendly away to Seligenporten, a game where he completed the full 90 minutes. Otherwise, the Germany international has been held back by persistent ankle and foot problems.
Enthusiasm and confidence
“But my foot feels better with every passing day," the player reported from the touchline in Regensburg. Matthias Sammer has also noticed the improvement: “He's rebuilding confidence in his foot and his body. He’s heading in a very good direction." Heynckes echoed the statement by the board member for sport: “He's making very positive progress. He has plenty of enthusiasm and confidence again."
However, the 28-year-old has some catching up to do in training. “He's not been able to take part in the full pre-season programme. Last week was the first time he trained consistently and all the way through," Heynckes explained, citing this as the reason Schweinsteiger was not an option for the starting line-up in Regensburg. Bastian himself agrees: “As the coach said, I need to work my way back gradually, and that's exactly what we're doing," he commented. As the world-class midfielder patiently approaches a comeback, Heynckes drew positive conclusions: “His return is only a matter of time."