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'I’m confident'

Schweinsteiger on the road to recovery

Bastian Schweinsteiger has taken the next step towards a full recovery from injury. On Tuesday afternoon at the Volkswagen Camp Qatar the FCB vice-captain completed a first training session with the ball at his feet. After warming up the 29-year-old participated in a tactics session with the rest of the team, before returning to fitness coach Andreas Kornmayer to continue his individual rehabilitation training.

In the press conference prior to the workout, Schweinsteiger stated that his injured right ankle was feeling “better” after he completed an intensive track session. “I can complete all the tasks they set me. I’m confident it won't be too long until I can return to full duty.”

Matthias Sammer and Pep Guardiola have both expressed hopes that Schweinsteiger might return to regular team training during the stay in Qatar and would be available for the start of the second half of the Bundesliga season three weeks from now. “We have to be patient, and take everything step by step,” Schweinsteiger himself said, taking care to avoid expectations running too high. After an injury-hit half year, he has become understandably cautious.

At the start of June last year Schweinsteiger had an operation on his ankle for the first time. Just after his return to the starting line-up against Freiburg at the end of August, he injured his ankle once again. Schweinsteiger kept playing, often through the pain, “because he knows about the situation we have in midfield,” as Pep Guardiola said at the time. Four midfielders - Thiago, Javi Martínez, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mario Götze - had been out for several weeks.

Team training on the horizon

At the start of November Schweinsteiger could no longer continue: the pain had become unbearable. After another operation eight weeks ago, he hopes the problem has been fixed at its root: “I’m happy with how it feels at the moment, and I’m confident it’ll get even better,” the Germana international confidently predicted.

Schweinsteiger is fully focused on his sports rehabilitation training in Doha. With the ball back at his feet and team training on the near horizon, he is not wasting a single thought on getting straight back into the starting line-up: “I know the qualities I have when I’m fully fit. It's reassuring and keeping me calm through all of this.” The German Footballer of the Year knows his comeback is only a matter of time.