Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Sport Bild the club will need returning midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger over the coming weeks if they are to achieve their ambitions.
Schweinsteiger, 29, has not played any competitive matches for the European champions since undergoing ankle surgery in November, with subsequent knee problems thwarting his hopes of returning in time for the Bundesliga restart on Friday.
However, the Germany international has told spox.com: “I feel better now. I had some problems with my knee during the winter training camp in Doha but, after the last few days, it feels better. I hope I can return to team training in the next couple of days.”
Despite the abundance of midfielders available to Pep Guardiola, Rummenigge said Schweinsteiger would be crucial to the Bundesliga leaders, who next month face Hamburg in the DFB-Pokal quarterfinals and Arsenal in the Champions League round of 16.
“In the next weeks, we will need Bastian Schweinsteiger to reach our goals,” Rummenigge said. “It would be nice if those problems are solved soon. He already missed the restart and has not returned to team training.”
Rummenigge warned that time is running out for the midfielder to prove his fitness ahead of the World Cup.
Germany’s friendly meeting with Chile on March 3 is their only game before Joachim Loew names his squad for Brazil, and Rummenigge said: “It is very important for Bastian to be able to play again soon.
“Just like Philipp Lahm, he is part of the generation of players aged around 30. For them it might be their last shot at success on the world stage. If there is a European team capable of winning a first World Cup on South American soil, it is Germany.”
Meanwhile, former Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has told kicker magazine that he would not be surprised to see Schweinsteiger leave the Allianz Arena.
“Real or Barcelona always have a special aura,” he said. “Schweinsteiger has played for Bayern for over 10 years and you could understand it if he wants to experience something new.”