Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben returned to training on Sunday after recovering from a calf injury and could feature against Liverpool in the Audi Cup this week.
Robben, 33, missed the Bundesliga champions’ 12-day tour of China and Singapore to continue his recovery from the injury he picked up playing tennis while on holiday.
“I’m doing well so far,” Robben told kicker. “I’ve still got almost three weeks until the opening Bundesliga game. I am making good progress and increasing my training load gradually.”
Spain international Thiago Alcantara had to fly home early from the tour with a calf problem but also trained at the weekend and may face Liverpool on Tuesday.
Central defender Jerome Boateng also sat out the trip to Asia but has overcome a thigh problem and could play a part in the four-team tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, Franck Ribery is doubtful after picking up an ankle injury in Thursday’s 2-0 defeat to Inter Milan in Singapore.
But Bayern’s longest serving player will “definitely be fit for the Super Cup on Saturday in Dortmund,” coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) July 30, 2017
Meanwhile, Ancelotti welcomed Germany internationals Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy to the club, saying he expects a “fantastic season” from the new signings.
“We are sure that they are going to improve our squad and increase competition in defence and midfield,” he said.
“They are both young players with a lot of quality and self-confidence. They showed their exemplary attitude last season with Hoffenheim. I am sure they are going to have a fantastic season.
“Sule is a fantastic central defender. We now have four excellent central defenders and he will fight with the others for his place. We are very well catered for in this position but the best will play — it doesn’t matter how old you are.”
Sule, 22, is looking forward to competing for a place in Bayern’s central defence with World Cup winners Mats Hummels and Boateng, as well as Spain international Javi Martinez.
“There’s nothing better for me as a young player than learning from the best in the world,” Sule said at his introduction as a Bayern player. “It’s a massive task for me to put pressure on the lads, to soak up as much as I can from them and try to get some game time.”
Rudy, 27, has also played at right-back for Germany, but impressed in defensive midfield in the successful Confederations Cup campaign this summer.
He faces competition at Bayern from Arturo Vidal, Renato Sanches and Corentin Tolisso but says he will fight for his place.
“I will not shy away from the competition and want to prove the critics wrong,” he said. “You expect to play, otherwise you wouldn’t make the move.
“I want to continue to improve, develop, grow as a person and push myself to the limit. I think we have good competition for places here and we will all be pushing each other to perform at our best. I’ll try and play my part in that.”
Despite their late arrival back in training following their exertions in Russia, Ancelotti said Sule and Rudy duo could feature in the Audi Cup on Tuesday and Wednesday, alongside fellow Confederations Cup participants Arturo Vidal and Joshua Kimmich, who are also back following their holidays.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.