Bayern Munich back-up goalkeeper Sven Ulreich never wants to see his friend and teammate Manuel Neuer suffer through an injury.
The 30-year-old veteran would prefer that any playing he gets is the result of hard work and persistence rather than an unfortunate ailment to Bayern’s starting goalkeeper. Given Neuer’s recent injury history, though, Ulreich has always had to be ready to leap into action.
Of course it’s very upsetting for him that he injured himself again. Last week Manu mostly only did the goalkeeper training sessions. Everything was fine. He didn’t give you the impression that he couldn’t go all out. It’s annoying that it happened in such an unfortunate situation.
After being sidelined for most of the 2017/2018 season with a foot injury, Neuer has had better luck this season, but an ill-timed calf injury against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Sunday will push Ulreich back into the starting XI.
It’s just difficult. He was injured for a year; it was a serious injury. Then it’s naturally the case that you have difficulties adjusting. There’s just a brutal number of games in one season and a lot of training sessions. That’s why he’s already under a lot of pressure. In this case it’s nice for me to play more often. I’m happy when I can play. But you don’t wish your colleague to get hurt.
When pressed about how he feels about jumping into a very difficult situation with two games upcoming against Werder Bremen, Ulreich was confident.
I do the training sessions just like Manu and prepare just like him. I am ready!
Having an insurance policy like Ulreich behind Neuer is key, especially because top prospect Christian Früchtl is currently out with an elbow injury. Ron-Torben Hoffmann is expected to be the understudy to Ulreich over the next two weeks.
For those of you wondering about a certain coach on Säbener Strasse dusting off his boots, it does not look like it will happen per Bild:
I’m not going back. Besides, I could probably not be re-signed now. Nevertheless, we are well positioned, still have Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, whom we totally trust.