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Ismaël: ‘Like being trapped in a tunnel'

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Ismaël: ‘Like being trapped in a tunnel'

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:46 pm


Thursday marks the 190th day since Valérien Ismaël last made a competitive appearance for Bayern, a two-minute cameo as a substitute against Leverkusen last April. His most recent 90-minuten run-out for the senior side came against Borussia Dortmund even longer ago, 527 days to be precise, or almost a year and a half. Ismaël’s long wait to resume playing could come to an end when Bayern travel to face FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) on Thursday. “I’m fit and I’m ready,” he declared on Monday.

The player seems almost unwilling to believe his time has finally come. “I’m assuming Micho will take his place as usual,” remarked the 32-year-old, reacting to <a href="/en/news/news/2007/13806.php?fcb_sid=7190be2f5f33802104e755ec83712f8e" target="_top" class="content_link">news of Martin Demichelis’ illness</a>. Daniel van Buyten may be ruled out with a bruised thigh, leaving Ismaël as the only recognised centre-half available to partner Lucio, rookie pro Mats Hummels aside.

<b>Painful experience</b>

Ismaël has understood the value of patience during his long spell on the sidelines. “I always used to want too much, too soon,” he recalled, “but a body has its limits.“ It is a lesson he has learned through painful experience since his double leg fracture in August 2006. He now rates his first attempt at a comeback as “simply too early.” The result was another operation on his left leg in April 2007.

Ismaël finally took to the field of play again in August, featuring in friendlies against Barcelona and Grasshoppers Zürich, and enjoying a run-out with the reserves in the third division, but the knee reacted and he was again forced to slow down. “It’s been a long road back. It was like being trapped in a tunnel, with the feeling I’d never emerge. I’ve had a lot of bad luck,” he honestly admits, hoping the misery is now behind him once and for all.

<b>One step at a time</b>

“I don’t feel any pain and I’ve prepared myself well over the last few weeks,” the Frenchman reported, although he has no intention of pushing his luck now. “I need to be patient and regain confidence,” he said, “my first goal is to make it to Christmas with no setbacks.“ His aim is to resume fighting for a place in the team during the winter training programme.

Ismaël’s contract expires at the end of the season, but the 32-year-old is relaxed about his uncertain future. “I’d like to stay here,” is all he will say, “but I’m not pressuring anyone and I’m not thinking about contracts. I’m just delighted to be back with the team. Everything else will take care of itself.“ Valérien Ismaël has become a model of patience.
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