Robben reveals injury anguish
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben claims the mental strain of recovering from a serious injury far outweighs the physical battle to regain fitness.
Robben is unlikely to kick a football again in 2010 after Bayern club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt discovered torn muscle tissue in his left thigh during an examination when the player reported for pre-season training in August. Muller-Wohlfahrt claimed the player had been given inadequate treatment in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup™ simply to enable him to play at the tournament without considering his long-term health.
As a result, Robben is now coming to terms with a long spell on the sidelines in a bid to put the troubles behind him for good, but he admitted to Munich's Tz newspaper that it is difficult watching his team-mates train from the window of the treatment room. "It really hurts me, which is why I hope that this phase of my career passes soon," he said. "It really is not easy for me. For my head, it is even tougher to deal with it all."
Robben is currently following an individual training regime, although he is still not permitted to put any pressure on his left leg. "I don't actually feel any pain in my thigh and that makes it all the more difficult for me," he said. "I am not allowed to put any pressure on my legs so I am working on my upper body. It is in a way a kind of rehabilitation training."
While Robben counts down the months, weeks and days before he can return to the football pitch, his club are in a battle with the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) regarding compensation payments. A delegation from the KNVB met Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, board member Karl Hopfner and Muller-Wohlfahrt in Munich at the weekend, but another round of talks will be necessary to clear up the matter.
"When we meet again, we will see if we can find a fair and decent agreement," said Rummenigge on his club's website. "If not, we are not afraid of taking legal action."
The KNVB delegation have taken a dossier back to Holland with them and will discuss the next step, but Robben is not taking any interest in the dispute. "All that matters to me is that my rehabilitation goes well and I get fit again," he said. "Nothing else matters."