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Defender starts rehab

Boateng: I have to be patient

The Bayern stars had been training for a mere four minutes or so when Pep Guardiola took off his red winter jacket on Tuesday lunchtime. Arjen Robben, David Alaba and many other pros soon followed his example and removed their gloves: the bright sunlight that shone on the training ground at the Säbener Strasse carried the confident promise of spring.

Jérôme Boateng watched his team-mates from the performance centre – and with a heavy heart too, as the centre-back told FCB.tv News. It was “a bit difficult” not to be out on the pitch, according to the 27-year-old, who sustained a ruptured muscle in the groin in Friday's match away to Hamburg and now faces a long lay-off.

A matter of time

“It's definitely a severe setback,” said Boateng, who reported to the medical unit for treatment as his team-mates prepared for Sunday's home match against Hoffenheim. “But now I'm looking ahead, I'll focus on my rehab programme and try to work my way back onto the pitch as soon as possible,” assured the Germany international, although he added a note of caution: “Of course I also need to be patient.”

Bayern will miss “a crucial player,” said Philipp Lahm, regretting Boateng's lay-off. But his comeback is only a matter of time, according to the FCB skipper: “Jérôme is experienced enough to remain patient and still work hard for his comeback. I'm not worried at all.”