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Jonker opts for Butt, Schweinsteiger doubtful

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Jonker opts for Butt, Schweinsteiger doubtful

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:20 pm

With Bastian Schweinsteiger already doubtful for Sunday's home meeting with Bayer Leverkusen, there was another blow for Bayern on Friday when Franck Ribéry felt a muscle go tight in training. The France superstar reported to chief medical officer Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt for an examination and treatment.

Schweinsteiger had visited the doctor's practice the previous day after turning an ankle in a challenge with Arjen Robben. Despite the injury, the midfielder may still feature against the side lying second in the Bundesliga standings. "We're hopeful of him playing," new head coach Andries Jonker announced on Friday. A final decision on Schweinsteiger's fitness will probably be left until shortly before kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

Jonker's first team selection as caretaker boss is thus proving problematic. "There are too many question-marks for me to decide now who's playing and who isn't," said the 48-year-old, who is definitely without suspended duo Robben and Holger Badstuber, and long-term injury absentee Ivica Olic. On the plus side, Daniel van Buyten, Breno and Danijel Pranjic are recovering well from knocks and should be in contention for Sunday.

Jonker has already made two important selection decisions. In central midfield, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will be asked to provide a more solid platform in his favoured defensive role. Jonker has also opted for experience between the sticks: 36-year-old Jörg Butt is set for a comeback against his former club, replacing Thomas Kraft, who was named first-choice keeper in the winter break.

Better chance with Butt

"In my opinion, he's a very, very talented young man. He could go a long way in his career," Jonker said of the 22-year-old Kraft, "but I've had to take a decision. The priority now isn't his development, it's ensuring Bayern qualify for the Champions League. And I think we have a better chance of that with Jörg Butt."

Van Gaal's successor insisted Kraft had not been demoted as a punishment. Since Jonker's arrival in Munich in summer 2009, the young keeper had "really gone for it, come on a long way, and performed well for the reserves. This season, he's had a chance in the first team and he's had a few very, very good games."

Kraft's professionalism

However, given the looming threat of missing out on Europe's elite club competition, Jonker has installed Butt as keeper for the last five matches of the season. "It's easier for Butt than for Thomas. He's played several hundred games in the Bundesliga and knows exactly what's expected in this situation. I trust him to do a good job," the coach explained.

"I had a very good talk with Thomas," Jonker reported. "It confirmed what I always thought about him. He's a very, very good guy, a great pro even at such a young age. I explained to him at length that he can become a very good goalkeeper." Kraft reacted professionally to the news that Butt would retake the position in goal, Jonker said. "He understands, and we can count on him right to the end."
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