Quintet return to work early

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Holger Badstuber cut a solitary figure out on the FC Bayern practice ground on Sunday, but on Monday, a full two days before first official training session of the new year, there was much more hustle and bustle at the Säbener Strasse facility when early bird Holger was joined by four more of his team-mates.

The first man out onto the pitch in the morning was Medhi Benatia . The centre-back joined health and fitness supremo Dr Holger Broich for a few laps of the ground. The pair were greeted cheerily by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who then entered the performance centre for weights and stamina training.

Midday brought good news of David Alaba. The Austrian Sports Personality of the Year, sidelined since early November with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and damage to the medial meniscus in his right knee, finally returned to the training ground in football boots. The player completed a set of sprinting and running drills, before switching to running shoes for a half-hour lapping the facility.

The new year also opened with a step forward for Tom Starke. The backup keeper has been out since mid-October with a torn syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle but completed a first session of jogging on Monday. Tom was supervised by goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, who also put the shot-stopped through a couple of light exercises with the ball. Starke and Alaba both worked out in the performance centre before moving outdoors.

As on the previous day, Badstuber followed a similar plan with both indoor and outdoor sessions focused on pace. He and the other stars are champing at the bit ready for the official restart session at 16:00 / 4 pm CET on Wednesday.