Created on 05-09-2014 at 15:13 PM
Bundesliga coaches are normally irritated by international breaks, but for once the latest interruption comes at just the right time for Bayern. The aftermath of the World Cup and a long injury roster means it provides a good opportunity for deficits to be remedied in training and injuries given time to heal. “The international break is a chance for us,” Philipp Lahm told FCB.tv.
The FCB captain, who was given what he described as “a superb send-off” this week after retiring from international football, acknowledged that training at the club with a decimated squad was a new experience for him. “I’m not used to it,” agreed the 30-year-old, who is currently working hard on his general fitness. He spent Friday lunchtime performing conditioning exercise supervised by specialist Dr. Holger Broich.
Earlier in the day, Lahm was one of just six first-team players to report for squad training. The remainder are either representing their countries or having treatment from the medical unit, which has devised special programmes for each player depending on the stage of his recovery. On Friday that meant:
Five set to return
Holger Badstuber and Pepe Reina (pelvic strain) trained in the performance centre. Xabi Alonso, who came away from his debut at Schalke with a sore foot, received treatment. Arjen Robben (ankle) started jogging, while new signing Medhi Benatia (sprain) continued his sports rehab with running and ball-based exercise. All five should be fit to resume team training next week.
Mitchell Weiser (knee ligaments), who started running last week and worked out in the performance centre on Friday, could also be back with the team next week. There was progress for Rafinha (ankle ligaments) and Thiago (ruptured knee ligaments) as both have begun running drills this week. Bastian Schweinsteiger (kneecap) is currently at work on the Ergometer and in the weights room.
Skipper off to the sun
Individual training has been the focus this week, but once the internationals return in the course of next week, Pep Guardiola can restart tactical drills. “We need to be in a position to play 90 minutes’ worth of the football we played for the first 20 or 30 at Schalke,” said Lahm.
However, the players now have the weekend off as Guardiola next wants his men back at the Säbener Strasse on Monday afternoon. “It’s a new situation for me,” said Lahm, “we don’t often have the weekend off, so we’ll enjoy it.” The FCB captain intends to take a short break with his family “and catch a few rays”. Lahm has obviously quickly learned to love international breaks.