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‘Flat out as of now’

Robben, Alaba and Ulreich resume team training

On Sunday, the fifth day of FC Bayern’s Doha training camp, there was a lot less space on the Aspire Academy practice pitch than before. Arjen Robben, David Alaba and Sven Ulreich took part in the morning squad session for the first time since the travelling party arrived in Qatar, and all three made it through to the end. Pep Guardiola ultimately took charge of 26 men.

“That was just the first day and I need to build it up from here,” Robben commented afterwards. The Dutch international has been laid low by the flu since the new year. “It’s dumb really. I’ve barely left my hotel room over the first few days. That’s not great,” said Robben, his voice betraying the last traces of a cold.

Intensive 90 minutes

The winger, who pulled a muscle in the 4-0 victory over Olympiacos in late November, was hoping to use the perfect conditions in Doha to recover peak form as quickly as possible, but the winter illness means he will need to proceed a little slower than planned. The 31-year-old said he had no intention of putting himself under any pressure to make a potentially over-hasty comeback.

Alaba (ankle) and Ulreich (hamstring) also completed Sunday’s session. “I’m going for it as of now,” declared the Austrian after an intensive 90 minutes. “I’m feeling very good and it’s all gone nice and quickly. I’m really happy about that.” Mario Götze, Franck Ribéry and Mehdi Benatia are also making good progress and continued to work on tailored rehab drills.

“I’m working very hard and I can do a bit more every day. That’s great,” Ribéry told FCB.tv. “I’m feeling good and I hope I’ll be back with the team in a couple of weeks.” Space might be even harder to find on the FC Bayern practice ground by then.

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