The 500 or so Bayern loyalists who dropped by the Säbener Strasse facility for a visit on Friday morning were in for a pleasant surprise, as the training session initially billed as closed was in fact opened to the public at short notice. The fans naturally gathered round training pitch number 1 to marvel at Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry and company as they went about their work.
The even saw Bastian Schweinsteiger in close up, although the vice-captain is still injured and was restricted to a brief jog, before reporting to the Performance Center to continue his tailored sports rehab programme. “He's been working on sports rehab for the last few days," reported boss Jupp Heynckes. The Germany international suffered what the coach described as “a minor setback" when he turned an ankle during the LIGA total! Cup in Hamburg.
Pizarro in squad for Sunday
“It wasn't particularly serious," Heynckes continued, “and all the pain has gone now." Schweinsteiger will resume the team training programme on Saturday, but the head coach declined to say whether the midfielder would feature in the squad for Sunday's Supercup meeting with Dortmund: “We'll have to wait and see how much progress he's made."
By contrast, Claudio Pizarro is very likely to be a member of the party for the meeting with last season’s double winners. The Peru hitman, recently troubled by a hip injury, rejoined the squad for training this week, although Heynckes advised that the striker “is still behind in terms of fitness. He still has work to do before he’s 100 percent fit."
Rafinha making excellent progress
Of the other injured players, Rafinha is well on the way to recovery. Three weeks after tearing ligaments in the friendly against Napoli, the Brazilian is already capable of working out on the specialist Alter G treadmill. “It's looking very good," Heynckes reported.
David Alaba (stress fracture) and Diego Contento (hairline fracture of the foot) are also coming along well. If all goes according to plan, Contento will be off crutches next week, although Alaba will have to be patient for another two weeks before taking the same step.
In a final piece of good news, Heynckes reported on Mario Gomez, who underwent surgery on his left ankle last Tuesday. “He's doing relatively well," the 67-year-old said, “the pain has gone away and he's started physiotherapy." The coach said Gomez himself was “very optimistic" regarding the recovery process.