Tuesday in Ingolstadt? Bastian Schweinsteiger was missing. Wednesday in Kaiserslautern? The vice-captain sat that one out too. Schweinsteiger and summer signing Claudio Pizarro are currently engaged in sports rehab training, another reason why the midfielder didn’t make the five-day trip to China. But it is all paying off. “I feel much fitter. It’s getting better every day,” reported the Germany star, who turned 28 on Wednesday.
The birthday boy resumed the squad training programme last Saturday. “And I’m putting in some extra shifts as well,” he revealed, “mentally, I’m in very good shape“. The player should make his first appearance in a pre-season friendly very soon. “It’s a decision for the coach,” said Schweinsteiger, who struggled throughout the European championship with a stubborn ankle problem.
The 28-year-old has now put last season’s disappointments behind him and is aiming at new targets. “Obviously, we’ve set ourselves ambitious goals. That’s hardly new,” he ventured, “we simply want to play the way we were playing for long periods in the first half of last season.“ However, that will need plenty of hard work, the vice-captain insisted. “And that’s what we’re doing at the moment.“