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Progress for Mehdi and Javi

Sammer: It starts for real now

The Säbener Strasse facility was a busy place on Thursday afternoon. FC Bayern’s current internationals are back from duty with their various national teams and all have returned uninjured, with the exception of Arjen Robben, who was obliged to leave the Dutch squad last weekend after stretching a muscle in the Netherlands’’ meeting with Iceland.

“It starts for real now,” declared sporting director Matthias Sammer at the official unveiling of Kingsley Coman, “from now on, we’re playing every three or four days. We’ll need every player in the squad.” Fortunately, Pep Guardiola could well enjoy a couple more selection options soon as Mehdi Benatia and Javi Martínez are making good progress in their recoveries from injury.

‘Very tough' against Augsburg

“It’s looking good for both of them,” reported Sammer, “Mehdi is only a couple of percent short. He won’t make it in time for Saturday, but he could be back very soon.” Martínez will have to be patient for a little longer, but Sammer said the Spaniard had trained “partly as part of the team” on Tuesday. “There was no reaction and we were pleased about that.” Martínez again managed parts of the squad workout on Thursday.

The traditionally packed early autumn programme starts on Saturday with the visit of Bavarian rivals FC Augsburg to Munich. “Psychologically it’s a very tough game for us, after the international break and before our Champions League opener,” noted Sammer, although he was by no means searching for excuses: “A big club like Bayern has to deal with it. Our attitude will be crucial. We can’t afford to let our rhythm drop.”

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