Arjen Robben hasn’t featured for Bayern Munich since late November in the 5-1 win over Benfica at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League. The Dutchman has experienced a succession of unfortunate injury setbacks including a rotten tooth, but Niko Kovac still believes his veteran midfielder can play an important part in Bayern’s run in for the domestic double, per a report by Daily Mail.
In his press conference previewing Bayern’s match against Fortuna Dusseldorf, Kovac spoke about Robben and how dearly he’s been missed in the squad:
It’s very sad that Arjen has not been with us since November. He always feels something, even though the doctors are giving positive signs. He just does not feel right at the moment.
While he’s hopeful Robben can make a return before the season ends, Kovac knows that the 35-year-old is smart about not rushing himself back prematurely:
The player is ultimately the one who knows and feels his body best. And at the moment, he doesn’t feel that he can train or play at a high level in the Bundesliga. My wish is that it works out in the next few days or even this season, because Arjen deserves it. It would be nice if he could play again for Bayern.
Robben admitted earlier this week that he’s not entirely sure about his future and that he does fear closing out the season without playing again. He said himself, “I have my doubts and I’m not sure if I can play for Bayern again this season.” His muscular problems just seem so persistent to the point where he can get enough training under his belt before any given match. Earlier this week, he was able to complete some individual training:
Nach den Aussagen gestern und Einheiten im Leistungszentrum heute mal wieder individuell auf dem Platz! @ArjenRobben hofft stabil in den nächsten Wochen trainieren zu können! Bedenken bleiben bei ihm nach Rückschlägen zuletzt@SkySportNewsHD @SkySportDE pic.twitter.com/mGjotPDfix— Torben Hoffmann (@Sky_Torben) April 12, 2019
At some point during Bayern’s run in, he and Kovac might choose to start taking some calculated risks, especially if there are other injuries in the midfield. Franck Ribery is set to miss the Dusseldorf match while Alphonso Davies has just made his way back from a knee problem. Kingsley Coman is fit, but with his injury history, it wouldn’t be a bad option to have Robben available on the bench.
Regardless, Robben has had am absolutely beautiful career with Bayern and at the very least, it would be amazing to see him involved in two more title celebrations if they’re able to pull off the domestic double. He might not play, but it’d be as good of a farewell as possible if Bayern clinch their 7th consecutive Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal.