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Ismael delight at 'the first step back'

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Ismael delight at 'the first step back'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:54 am

16.08.2007

The spotlight at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening was firmly on Mehmet Scholl, but with just two minutes to go in the meeting with Barcelona, Valérien Ismael basked in an unforgettable moment of his own: he came on as a sub. A commonplace enough occurrence, but why was it so extraordinary on this occasion? Because exactly a year to the day, he broke both bones in his lower left leg, and his appearance against Barcelona finally signals an end to the misery caused by the horror injury.

"That was the first step back. I enjoyed it," Ismael later told reporters waiting in the Mixed Zone at the Allianz Arena after his first run-out with the senior side in over four months. Back in April, he made a two-minute appearance as a Bundesliga sub, only for the injured leg to react and necessitate the bringing forward of a further corrective operation.

<b>Practice with the reserves</b>

The central defender now hopes a year of woe is finally behind him. "I'm heading in the right direction," he declared after his latest comeback. A run in the reserves will help him regain full fitness on a step by step basis. Valle is due to turn out for Hermann Gerland's men in the third division Munich derby away to relegated SpVgg Unterhaching this weekend. "It'll be a good test for me," he commented.

Ismael will now seek to re-learn the training and match rhythm which constitutes the life of a pro, "until I've regained complete confidence and can easily go right to the limit," he explained. He has not set a date for a full comeback. "I'm taking it very easy, because I know I have time.“ The player said he had become "extremely patient" during his long lay-off. "It's good for the soul and you sleep better," he reasoned, gleaning positives from a difficult period.

<b>Trophies and shirts</b>

"Now I'm looking to the future, and collecting as many trophies as possible with Bayern," Ismael declared on Wednesday evening before leaving the Allianz Arena in upbeat spirits. He set off for home with a first 'trophy' already in his possession, namely Thierry Henry's shirt. "We've known each other since the U-21s. We swap shirts every time we face each other. I've got one from Arsenal, one from Monaco and now one from Barcelona.“ One question remains: does Henry appreciate the special significance of the shirt he took back to Catalonia with him on Wednesday?
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