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‘Nothing serious’

All-clear for Robben and Kroos

There was a new experience for Pep Guardiola as Bayern coach on Saturday afternoon when he was forced to make not one but two substitutions in the opening half-hour of the Bundesliga meeting with Hertha BSC. Toni Kroos was forced out of the action after 24 minutes, and was followed just two minutes later by Arjen Robben, as both players struggled with groin problems. “They’ve played so many matches. It happens sometimes,” Guardiola commented afterwards.

Robben and Kroos both received treatment in the dressing room – and both were soon given the all-clear. “It’s nothing serious,” said Robben, confirming there is no muscle-related injury: “It’s probably something to do with a nerve.” Both Robben and Kroos expect to be fit for next Saturday’s Bundesliga trip to Hoffenheim.

Injury summary – Comeback for Martínez

The medical unit at the club can hardly complain of underemployment at the moment. Last Thursday, Claudio Pizarro tore a muscle bundle in his right thigh and will be sidelined until late November or early December.

Xherdan Shaqiri suffered exactly the same injury while representing Switzerland two weeks ago and will be out of action for around the same length of time as Pizarro. A little earlier, in mid-November, Thiago could be fit enough to resume squad training. The Spaniard ruptured syndesmosis ankle ligaments in late August and underwent surgery, but took the first tentative steps towards a comeback with a gentle jogging session last Thursday.

Dante has been out of contention for a week after sustaining a deep gash to his left ankle in last Saturday’s home meeting with Mainz. The injury was immediately stitched at the time, and he could yet be fit enough for next weekend’s league fixture. By contrast, Holger Badstuber (cruciate) still has a long way to go on the road to recovery.

On a positive note, Javi Martínez came on as a substitute in the 3-2 victory over Hertha, celebrating his return to the team two months after groin surgery.