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Fit-again Hargreaves poised for comeback

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Fit-again Hargreaves poised for comeback

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:20 pm

28.01.2007

Felix Magath, a world-class midfield enforcer in his time, pulled on his football boots in anger for the first time in a long while this Sunday. "But only for two minutes," the Bayern head coach later revealed. "I covered for a player in a practice match while he went to change his shoes." Otherwise, the boss is not expecting any new absentees ahead of the first home game since the winter break when VfL Bochum visit the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

The Reds are confident of welcoming Owen Hargreaves back to the team. "From my point of view, we could well see him on Tuesday," Magath remarked. Hargreaves has completed the full first-team training programme for the last two weeks after finally recovering from a broken fibula, although the England man played no part in the Bundesliga restart in Dortmund, as he himself was not 100 percent confident of his fitness.

<b>Four-and-a-half month lay-off</b>

The situation has clearly changed since then. "Owen looked very good at the end of last week, and he confirmed that impression today," Magath commented on Sunday. "I think he'll be back."

The coach could hardly disguise his glee at the prospect of the midfielder's return following a four-and-a-half month lay-off. The Bayern coach <a href="/en/news/news/2007/10599.php?fcb_sid=883542cf1b9f83789ade6e2d284616c6" target="_top" class="content_link">voiced dismay at his side's lacklustre display</a> in losing 3-2 to Dortmund, so Hargreaves' mobility and powerful tackling would unquestionably strengthen the side at this time.

<b>Van Bommel and Karimi carrying knocks</b>

"We've missed his surging runs and pace. He's outstanding in terms of his ability to graft," Magath observed. "He also scores goals from long range. It would be a real boost for us if he's fit to play."

Elsewhere in the midfield department, both Mark van Bommel and Ali Karimi are rated doubtful for Tuesday's clash after returning from Dortmund with knocks. Van Bommel (Achilles) sat out Sunday's training session, while Karimi (hamstring) restricted himself to jogging. Magath reckoned neither was yet out of contention for Tuesday.
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