Somewhat hard to imagine, how a player so crucial to Germany's first treble champion can have his absence matter so little.
The vice-captain of for both club and country, Bastian Schweinsteiger has followed up his German Footballer of the year season with an injury ravaged one, missing 117 days of competition thus far due to injury. That streak might come to an end, for he has boarded the bus for Bayern Munich's trek north to Hamurger SV.
Exciting news, yes, but the trip might be more of a rehabilitation milestone than a full return.
Looking back on the integration patterns the club has employed, the returns of Thiago Alcântara, Mario Götze and Javier Martínez fell into a much more distinguishable sequence. With several other returns since, player implementation after injury hass much more circumstantial.
That being said, patterns pop up even now when looking at injuries lasting more than a week. There is no omniscient injury predictor, but based on records alone, there exist noteworthy observations.
|Name||Injury||Unavailable||Return to Team Sheet||Return to Pitch||Return to XI|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger||Ankle||18 days||9/14 vs. Hannover 96
||9/17 vs. CSKA||9/21 vs. Schalke|
|Mario Götze||Ankle||29 days||9/28 vs. Wolfsburg||10/2 vs. Man City||11/2 vs. Hoffenheim|
|Javier Martínez||Groin||54 days||10/23 vs. Plzen||10/26. vs. Hertha BSC||11/2 vs. Hoffenheim|
|Dante||Ankle||14 days||11/2 vs. Hoffenheim||11/2 vs. Hoffenheim||11/2 vs. Hoffenheim|
||Ankle||77 days||11/11 vs. Augsburg||11/23 vs. Dortmund||11/27 vs. CSKA|
|Diego Contento||N/A||25 days||11/30 vs. Braunschweig||12/14 vs. Hamburg||12/14 vs. Hamburg|
|Franck Ribéry||Rib||25 days||12/4 vs. Augsburg||12/4 vs. Augsburg||12/7 vs. Bremen|
|Xherdan Shaqiri||Thigh||57 days||12/7 vs. Bremen||12/10 vs. Man City||12/21 vs. Casablanca
|Philipp Lahm||Thigh||13 days||12/10 vs. Man City||12/10 vs. Man City||12/10 vs. Man City|
|Arjen Robben||Knee||51 days||1/24 vs. 'Gladbach||1/24 vs. 'Gladbach||2/8 vs. Nürnberg*|
|Franck Ribéry||Ankle||24 days||2/2 vs. Frankfurt||2/2 vs. Frankfurt||2/2 vs. Frankfurt|
|Javier Martínez||Foot||21 days||2/8 vs. Nürnberg||2/8 vs. Nürnberg||??|
|Daniel van Buyten||Back||34 days||??||??||??|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger||Ankle/Knee||99 days||??||??||??|
*Robben missed one match before his next appearance off the bench, shading a full sequence of return
With the caveat that the injuries and squad roles do not equate, the observation that still emerges is with the time-frame of injury. Most players with absences lasting less than four weeks (or literally 28 days) usually take less time to reintegrate into the team. The exceptions are Diego Contento – a well-established back-up defender; Javier Martínez – whose midfield depth position has changed under Guardiola; and Schweinsteiger's first spell after his injury in the UEFA Super Cup.
Conversely, most injuries longer than four weeks have resulted in more progressive returns. The only outlier is Arjen Robben, who after his return was unavailable for the midweek makeup match against VfB Stuttgart. The system above would thus indicate that Schweinsteiger will be just a close spectator rather than a late match option.
That is not necessarily a negative scenario, considering the increased schedule congestion over the next 12 days. Certainly manager Pep Guardiola will want to see what his vice-captain can offer him in a match scenario. The SC Freiburg at the weekend could be a similar situation to do so, which still before the grave Champions League trip to Arsenal.
"We need him," said Guardiola on Schweinsteiger [tz-online]. "Basti was injured for more than two months. He needs time."
Where he will play is an entirely different can of worms, ones that could wiggle the foundation of the current tactical approach. Never to fear, though. Fortunately, that discussion is very near.
- Lena Lotzen signs 2-year extension with Bayern Munich Frauen
- Bild: Allianz Purchases 8.3% share in FC Bayern München AG for €110 million
- Ribéry Ruled out of UCL First Leg, Making the Trip to London not as Sweet
- Pokal: HSV vs. Bayern | Preview
- Report: Juventus to offer up to €18M in first sensible bid for Toni Kroos