For the first time since suffering his knee injury in August of last year, Bayern Munich defender Javi Martínez participated in team training on Thursday. He entered to an ovation from the players, applauding the Spaniard on his return.
"It was great to train with the team after eight months," Martínez told FCB.tv. "Of course I am very happy. I know I need to take the next step, but I am very, very happy to take this first step."
Martínez tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the DFL-Supercup in August, and has been recovering since getting surgery in Colorado, United States. Before his injury, Martínez was playing mostly in defense for Pep Guardiola, and he could return there again with Mehdi Benatia still on the mend with a hamstring injury.
Arjen Robben also continued his progression from an abdominal injury on Wednesday, participating in individual fitness and mobility drills. While media speculated he could make a surprise return in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, Robben admitted an early return could result in another injury setback.
Bayern still have six weeks of football to play, and are hoping they get back as much of their squad depth as they can when the season culminates in late May and early June.