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'Progressing very well'

Bernat begins running

“Finally”, Juan Bernat must have been thinking as he felt the grass underneath his feet again. On Friday the 24 year-old was able to do a few laps of the training pitch for the first time since suffering an injury during the Audi Summer Tour 2017. “I’m very happy. The most important thing is that the bone’s healing well. I don’t have any pain anymore,” said the pleased Spaniard.

The full-back tore his syndesmosis ligament in the friendly against AC Milan on 22 July in Shenzhen and had to travel back to Munich early. Two days later he had an operation and has been battling to be back on the pitch since then. “It wasn’t easy. It was my first serious injury and the first time I needed an operation,” reflected Bernat.

The three-time German champion has been through countless physio and rehab sessions. Instead of working with his teammates as normal, he was now on his own. “At the start it’s tough but you get through it with help from your family, friends and also your team,” said the Spaniard, whose aim is to “come back stronger and better.”

 

He made a big step towards that today but there’s still a way to go. “I’m training hard so I return in good physical condition,” said a determined Bernat. If the healing process goes to plan, his workload will be gradually increased over the coming days and weeks.

Of course Bernat himself wants to return to the squad “as quickly as possible” because he still has big ambitions this season – both for Bayern and the Spanish national team. “It’ll be difficult,” he replied when asked about a potential World Cup call-up, but he doesn’t want to rule it out. “But I’m on the home straight now, I want to recoup and put some good performances in for the club and then being at the World Cup would obviously be a reward for that.”