Ominous tidings at Säbener Straße: for the first time in living memory, no serious injuries prevented anyone on the entire 23-man squad from participating in team training today, forcing Bayern Munich to accept the uncomfortable reality of fielding a fully fit, first-choice team.
The team completed the training session without any players colliding on aerial challenges and suffering concussions. Neither Arjen Robben nor Franck Ribery were forced to limp off the training grounds after suffering inexplicable muscle injuries. Thiago abruptly broke off practice at the scheduled finishing time without suffering either a hard knock or strained knee ligament. Jerome Boateng did not sprain an ankle just after returning from a lingering shoulder injury, and Mats Hummels failed to succumb to a pulled hamstring on a bad tackle, forcing Ancelotti to stick to plans to rotate his three fully healthy center-backs.
“It is not ideal,” Ancelotti told our BFW correspondent,
but it is what it is. Unless someone rises to the challenge and breaks an ankle or tears a muscle, I will have no choice but to field the strongest possible starting lineup I can assemble from fully rested, healthy players in the matches ahead. It is a difficult, unusual situation.
The departure of several injury-prone players and an unusual run of luck have left Bayern's back line a shadow of its former debilitated self. With Boateng at last back from injury, and Juan Bernat now returning to training after minor muscular issues, Carlo Ancelotti may have to call up injured players from Bayern’s reserves to fill out a makeshift defense and force others to play out of position.
Asked to elaborate on the current crisis, Ancelotti stated,
Obviously, I’d like to find a solution that allows me to play at least one, ideally two players out of position - Joshua Kimmich or David Alaba at center-back, for instance, or something radical like Rafinha in Robben’s position on the right - but circumstances being what they are, I have no choice but to play the best players in their best positions. The timing is unfortunate.
With Robben and Ribery mired in a lengthy run of good health, and without serious or even niggling injuries to either Douglas Costa or Kingsley Coman to compensate, even Bayern's offense falls far short of the high standard for injuries set previously in the Pep Guardiola era. “Having so many healthy options presents a special challenge,” Ancelotti stated, “But that is part of the job.”
Captain Philipp Lahm meanwhile was optimistic that Bayern would overcome this spate of non-injuries and maintain its winning ways in the face of the total absence of adversity. “We've faced similar unpleasant runs of good fortune in the past. Even if this one is one of the worst I've seen in my time with Bayern, I'm confident the team has the quality to pull through.”
At press time - to the relief of everyone - Mats Hummels was rushed to see Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt after suffering second-degree burns when he spilled an overheated latte all over himself himself taking it out of the team microwave bare-handed.
Editorial note: The preceding story is satirical. All quotes are made up and the facts don’t matter.