It’s been a long, turbulent road to get fully fit again for Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben. The Dutchman hasn’t featured for Bayern since November in the Champions League and has experienced a number of injury setbacks with his thigh, calf, and even a rotten tooth at one point. While he does fear ending the season without featuring at least once more, he understands the importance of not rushing back from multiple injury problems, especially at 35 years of age. He said himself, “I have my doubts and I’m not sure if I can play for Bayern again this season.”
Robben has slowly but surely been making progress on his comeback trail and it was especially refreshing to see him resume full team training with the rest of the squad earlier this morning. It has been months since he has trained with the rest of the team and hopefully this is a sign that the club are trying to get him fit on time to at least play some role in their remaining four league matches against Nurnberg, Hannover 96, RB Leipzig, and Eintracht Frankfurt, respectively. It could also be the perfect swan song for the Dutch legend if he were to take part in the DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig in Berlin at the end of May.
Arjen is back! Jetzt live: @ArjenRobben absolviert wieder erste Teile des Teamtrainings!— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) April 25, 2019
https://t.co/ARPJxWe8Iy#FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/47OxQQLbNa
Earlier this month, Niko Kovac had expressed his hope to have Robben available for selection before the season ends, but trusted the midfielder’s judgement:
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.
As I had written back in the beginning of the month, at some point during Bayern’s run in, Robben and Kovac might choose to start taking some calculated risks, especially if there are other injuries in the midfield. Both Franck Ribery and Alphonso Davies have experienced injury problems this month, while Kingsley Coman is injury prone and always a cause for concern. With his experience in important matches, having Robben on the pitch if options in midfield are scare could (potentially) be one of the only options Kovac has.
It goes without saying that we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for Robben, but resuming full team training is a massive step in the right direction for the Dutchman.