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Injury update: James Rodriguez to miss Hannover match, Neuer eyes return vs Leipzig

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Hopefully both players are back for the last two matches of the season as planned.

FC Bayern Munich - FSV Mainz 05
17 March 2019, Bavaria, München: Soccer: Bundesliga, FC Bayern Munich - FSV Mainz 05, 26th matchday in the Allianz Arena. James Rodriguez (r) and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern Munich cheer after the final whistle. Photo: Matthias Balk/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the requirements of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga or the DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or the match in the form of sequence images and/or video-like photo sequences.
Manuel Neuer and James Rodriguez.
(Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images)

It seems as if there’s always an injury update coming out of Säbener Strasse for Bayern Munich, and today is no different. Per a report by AZ, James Rodriguez will miss the weekend clash against Hannover 96 while Manuel Neuer is still targeting a comeback for the match against RB Leipzig at the RedBull Arena next weekend. James suffered a calf injury during Bayern’s 1-1 draw at FC Nürnberg, while Neuer tweaked his hamstring in Bayern’s 4-1 win at Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Niko Kovac said in his pre-Hannover press conference that the plan is, in fact, to have Neuer back in goal against Leipzig. Sven Ulreich meanwhile has stood in for the last three matches against Werder Bremen twice and then against Nürnberg. For what it’s worth, the favorable matchup this weekend against Hannover is a better opportunity than ever to rest players who aren’t 100% fit to ensure that Kovac will have his preferred selection in Leipzig.

Other minor updates

Javi Martinez sat out team training today due to some slight knee pain, but he is expected to be ready and fit to feature against Hannover. Kovac also commented on both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, saying that he’d love to have their season end on a high note, especially in light of the injury problems they’ve both experienced this season, Robben’s long injury absence in particular:

They’re in good spirits, they’re healthy and motivated. They know what awaits them. When the last game arrives, we’ll see what emotions it brings with it. In essence, we must and want to be successful. So the players that have an edge at the moment will play.

It would be especially nice to see Robben make a comeback before the season concludes, but with the stakes so high for the Bundesliga title, Kovac won’t take the risk unless he’s 100% ready to go.