Boateng returning to full fitness
After Thursday's training session, Jupp Heynckes pulled Jérôme Boateng over for a one-to-one chat. The centre-back grinned when he recalled the conversation. "He told me he has no complaints about me at the moment," said the 29 year-old on Friday with a laugh. After a year blighted by injuries, Boateng has turned over a new leaf.
"At the moment I feel really good," he reported after the first few training sessions of the New Year. "I'd say that I ended 2017 at 80 percent. If I can get through this week, I'll be back at 100 percent." It's been over a year since he's been able to say that.
Since having an operation on his chest in December 2016, the World Cup winner has been battling with injuries. A thigh injury followed in May 2017 as well as niggling muscular problems, meaning he only played in 24 of Bayern's 52 games over the last calendar year. "It wasn't an easy time."
"That's how it is in mid-season training"
He's been surprised himself that "it can take almost a year to get back to how you felt before." But the chest operation had a chain reaction: "The strength in my chest was gone, which changed my running style and my whole dynamic. That's affected other things again," he explained.
That's all in the past, though. Boateng has been able to take full part in the training camp in Doha so far, and he's found the workload just about right. "It's not too much, but it's certainly enough," said the Germany international. "You feel like you've done something. I think that's good. That's how it is in mid-season training. I hope now that I can stay consistent and fit."