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First man back

Badstuber looking forward to the hard work

The usual sonic background at the Säbener Strasse facility comprises the wind whistling through the floodlight pylons, the occasional squawking crow, and the distant noises of traffic. As of Sunday, the sound of boot against ball was added back into the mix as Holger Badstuber became the first Bayern star to resume training after the Christmas vacation. “The first workout after a holiday is always a bit tough, but it was fun,” the 25-year-old told afterwards.

Badstuber pounded the beat tirelessly under the watchful eye of fitness coach Dr Holger Broich for an hour, with an array of drills including dribbling, passing, heading and shooting, with a fair dollop of sprinting thrown in for good measure. The player then put in another hour’s shift in the performance centre. The centre-back will continue to pursue an individual programme for another few days, before he rejoins the rest of the squad for Wednesday’s official restart session.

“I’m fit enough for the full programme,” announced Badstuber, who has not trained with the squad since September due to damaged tendons in his left thigh. He is keenly anticipating a return to the normal routine. “Even while I was on vacation I was really looking forward to being back again and making the trips with the rest of the group. I’m looking forward to the hard work,” he said.

Aware of the task

Holger made sure to switch off and relax in the first part of the mid-season holiday before preparing for the restart with jogging and weights training. “I’m heading into the second half of the season with renewed energy,” the 25-year-old declared, “I’m looking to make best use of the nest few weeks and continuously improve, so I recover the level I’d like to have. But I know I’ll have to work hard for that.”

History shows that he is capable of hitting his target. Last summer, Badstuber made a superb comeback after a full 20 months on the sidelines with cruciate problems. He started the first three Bundesliga matches of the season only to pick up the new injury. “I really enjoyed being back out on the pitch after a year-and-a-half out. It was fantastic,” he recalled, “and now I’d like to feel that again over a longer period.” And for that, it’s worth sacrificing a couple of days’ holiday.