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GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

2017/2018 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
1 Bayern 9 2 1 29
2 Schalke 7 2 3 23
3 RB Leipzig 7 2 3 23
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 By Mark Lovell

Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng to miss trip to China and Singapore

Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has said defender Jerome Boateng will miss this month's summer tour of China and Singapore to continue his comeback bid from injury.

Boateng, 28, suffered an injury-ravaged campaign last season, starting only 10 games as Bayern won a fifth successive Bundesliga title and picked up a thigh injury during the last game of the season against Freiburg.

He had vowed to return for the start of preseason, but Ancelotti said: "It's better for him to complete his programme at Sabener Strasse [Bayern training HQ] so that he's fully fit and available at the beginning of August."

Bayern fly to Asia on Sunday for their third preseason tour of the continent, after taking part in a four-team Telekom Cup in Monchengladbach the previous day.

The Bundesliga champions face Arsenal in Shanghai on July 19, before taking on AC Milan in Shenzhen three days later.

Bayern move on to Singapore to face Premier League champions on Chelsea on July 25 in the International Champions Cup, before completing their Asian trip with a game against Inter Milan.

Both of Bayern's first-choice goalkeepers, Manuel Neuer (broken metatarsal) and Sven Ulreich (elbow), will also sit out the tour to continue their recovery from injury.

Jerome Boateng will continue his fitness programme in Munich as he recovers from a thigh injury.

Germany internationals Joshua Kimmich, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Sule and Chile star Arturo Vidal are still on a break after the Confederations Cup in Russia, while Serge Gnabry was part of Germany's winning European Under-21 Championship-winning squad earlier this month.

However, Bayern's new signing James Rodriguez will be part of the touring party after joining from Real Madrid on a two-year loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer. 

Meanwhile, Mats Hummels is looking forward to central defensive partner Boateng's return.

The pair also play together at international level, winning the 2014 World Cup, and Hummels told kicker: "We've known each other for a long time and played in the German under-21 side together.

"We have a wonderful relationship. For his sake and the team I hope he manages to stay fit for a long time."

Hummels also said he is relishing the challenge of competing for a place in central defence this season. Bayern signed fellow Germany international Niklas Sule from Hoffenheim, further intensifying competition for places with Boateng and Javi Martinez already at the club.

Spain international Martinez returned to the Bayern line-up in Erlangen last weekend, after recovering from a broken collarbone sustained hiking in the mountains in May.

"It will do us good when nobody is an automatic choice," Hummels said. "Then you always have to ensure you perform well and all of us central defenders have a huge motivation to remain in top condition the whole year round."

Unlike Sule, Hummels was given an extended break over the summer and did not take part in Germany's successful Confederations Cup campaign. Fellow Germany stars Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Boateng were also spared the trip to Russia by national team coach Joachim Low.

Sule, 25, is still on holiday after his exertions for his country, but Hummels is looking forward to welcoming "one of the up-and-coming central defenders in Germany" to the club. "He's athletic and can play football," he said. "Of course, I'll try and keep my place in the team, but he's already playing at a very high level."

Hummels said he did not see his rare summer off as an advantage going into the new season.

"If I play terribly in August then it's all forgotten about," he said. "If this were the case, I would lose my spot in the team. Therefore, I'm giving everything now to get into shape in order to maintain top form throughout the entire season. Current performances are more important than former glories."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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