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Rode, Starke, Badstuber

Trio of early starters get down to business

Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben & Co are battling for World Cup glory in Brazil, but Tuesday saw the first Bayern players sweat in earnest in Munich ahead of the new campaign. At exactly 10 o'clock in the morning Tom Starke, Holger Badstuber and new signing Sebastian Rode resumed training following their summer vacation, although the three have returned to work early with the squad not due to report back until 9 July, eight days from now.

“The three of us were all sidelined with injury for a long time, so it's good to get going early, build up your fitness and have strength in reserve when pre-season really gets going," Rode informed The 23-year-old has completely recovered from a knee injury but is still wearing a protective cast following a fracture to his right hand. “The knee is completely better, and there's no problem at all with my hand,” the player explained. Rode was excited but also “a little nervous” when he took to the Säbener Strasse training ground for the first time: “Everything’s so much bigger here.”

Badstuber and Starke fit

Rode enjoyed his first workout as a Bayern player. “It was super. We trained well, I've got to know Holger and Tom and the weather played its part. It was a good start.” Following the 75 minute session including easy-paced jogging and work on the ball, shooting practice and brief sprints, the two more experienced players voiced their agreement. “It's a fantastic feeling,” commented Badstuber. “My vacation was great. I got plenty of sun and recuperated well. But now I'm ready to get going again.”

Badstuber resumed the team training programme before the summer break after working his way back from a double cruciate tear. He is now determined to recapture his previous form. “I'm looking forward to training, I'm healthy and I feel good. I'm 100 percent back again,” the defender declared. Starke,  sidelined for three months after surgery to repair elbow ligament damage, was back to saving shots on Tuesday for the first time since the operation. “I’m fit,” the former Hoffenheim man said. Like his fellow early starters, he intends to use the next few days “to be top fit on 9 July.”