22.08.2018Bayer 04

Two scares on Wednesday – All clear for Havertz

In the final open training session for the Werkself ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga opener away to Borussia Mönchengladbach (kick-off: 18. 30 CET), Heiko Herrlich worked with 21 members of his squad at the training ground on Wednesday morning. Two of the players dropped out of the session before the end due to slight knocks.

Sven Bender took a knock to his right ankle in a challenge after an hour of the training session. He received treatment on the pitch before being taken to the dressing room by the physios. According to the medics, the 29-year-old central defender has not suffered a serious injury. And Heiko Herrlich is hopeful his number five will be available for Saturday. The keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum also had to drop out after 30 minutes due to a thigh problem.  

between Optimism and confidence

Lars Bender and Kai Havertz did not train on Wednesday. The captain took a tumble in yesterday's afternoon session and today worked on his own in the gym at the BayArena. The same goes for the youngster Havertz who was rested by the coaching staff as a precaution. "Kai is only 19, he took part in all the sessions in the pre-season and he has played a lot of football recently – it is part of my responsibilities to him to make sure he is not exposed to extreme workloads like yesterday's training by resting him from time to time so we don't overextend him," said Herrlich before adding: "Theoretically, he could have completed the whole session today." The situation with Lars Bender is more involved but the Werkself head coach did emphasize he is including the number eight in his plans for the Gladbach game on Saturday as things stand.

There is optimism regarding Charles Aránguiz – particularly after the blow of losing Julian Baumgartlinger due to a knee ligament injury. "Charly  is looking really good and he's improving in leaps and bounds at the moment," declared Herrlich in describing the condition of the 29-year-old Chilean who has been less involved over recent weeks due to knee problems. It appears unlikely that Aránguiz will feature on Saturday.

In spite of the many injuries and knocks, Herrlich is relaxed ahead of the start of the league campaign. "We still have an incredible number of outstanding players and quality on the pitch. I'm sure we can compensate for the absentees," said Herrlich, who has organised two further training sessions ahead of the opening league fixture – both behind closed doors.


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