Thomas Muller marked his return from recovering from the coronavirus by assisting Robert Lewandowski just seconds after coming on as a substitute in Bayern Munich’s 5-1 win over FC Köln. It was a fitting comeback for the Raumdeuter after he’d missed the club’s 3-3 draw with Arminia Bielefeld and the 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt while he was recovering from the virus. Of course, Muller isn’t used to having that much rest. The two Bundesliga matches and Bayern’s 4-1 win over Lazio in the Champions League were the only matches he’s missed this season and it was beyond his control due to the virus.
On Sunday, just a day after Bayern’s big win over Köln, Muller took to his Instagram page to show people the special recovery boots he was sporting while watching a Bundesliga match in the background. These types of pneumatic compression boots, or pants have become increasingly popular amongst footballers, runners, cyclists, and athletes of all types. They essentially use enhanced technology and compression to flush the legs of a buildup of waste in the muscle’s cells, which can relieve muscle soreness to a great extent. The sleeves intermittently increase and decrease compression on the feet and legs, moving upward, which helps create increased blood flow up throughout the lower and upper legs.
Most professional athletes have access to these boots, whether it be at their homes or training facilities, but it’s become increasingly important for footballers this season which such packed schedules because of the coronavirus. For a club like Bayern that’s been involved in so many competitions and has played so many matches in a short period a time, it’s that much more important to make sure the recovery process is planned down to the finest details.
For Muller, the slight period of rest might’ve been highly beneficial to recharge his batteries and a bit of a blessing in disguise. However, his presence in the squad against either Bielefeld and/or Frankfurt might’ve helped prevent the dropped points and given Bayern some more breathing room over RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga table. This weekend’s Der Klassisker against Borussia Dortmund will come with added pressure for the Bavarians since a slip-up could see Leipzig go level on points with them or even leapfrog them into the top spot.