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News in brief

Lahm back on the ball

Philipp Lahm has taken another important step on the road to a full recovery. On Monday morning, the FC Bayern captain trained with the ball at his feet for the first time since breaking an ankle last autumn. Supervised by sports rehab coach Thomas Wilhelmi, the 31-year-old played a few passes and also completed running drills. Thiago was also out on the training ground as he continues his recovery programme. Mehdi Benatia, who missed Saturday’s match in Paderborn with a sprain, performed an individual workout.

Alaba retains title

FC Bayern star David Alaba has again been voted Player of the Year by readers of Austria’s biggest daily newspaper Krone Zeitung. David retained the title with 309,000 votes, comfortably ahead of his nearest rival. “The award as Krone Footballer of the Year means a lot to me because it doesn’t just reflect performances on the pitch over the year, it’s also about popularity. And I hope I’m still the David Alaba I’ve always been,” commented the 22-year-old, who collected his award at a major gala event on Sunday evening.