Munich - Off the Ball, our weekday feature, casts an eye over the weird, wonderful and sometimes controversial tales to have emerged from Germany's top flight.

Today, we check up on the fitness of FC Schalke 04 star Kevin-Prince Boateng, join new Hannover 96 boss Tayfun Korkut for his first training session and catch up with VfL Wolfsburg in the United Arab Emirates.

was one of Schalke 04's stand-out performers of the first half of the season, but the Ghanaian international's persistent knee troubles have been a major cause for concern. In a bid to aid the 26-year-old's recovery, Munich-based physiotherapist Bernd Fischer joined the Royal Blues at their Doha training camp for extra training sessions with Boateng, who has been receiving treatment from Fischer and his colleague Ralph Frank throughout the campaign. "It's important we remain in total control of the situation, that's why we have arranged this visit with the Frank/Fischer clinic," said sporting director Horst Heldt. Thankfully, Boateng should be fit for Schalke's first match of the Rückrunde against Hamburger SV on 26 January.

Hannover 96 may have had a topsy-turvy first half of the season, but die Roten fans turned out in their droves (a good 7,000 of them, to be more precise) at the HDI Arena to see new coach Tayfun Korkut (photo: Imago) take his first training session. Hannover have picked up just from their last eleven Bundesliga matches, but the Germany-born former Turkey midfielder is confident he can lead his new charges out of trouble. "I want to see a courageous, ambitious and active team, I want solidarity. If we can get all that right, then we can be successful," he said at his official unveiling.

VfL Wolfsburg have also returned to training ahead of the Bundesliga restart. Dieter Hecking's (photo: Imago) team jetted off to Abu Dhabi yesterday, where they will stay for a week before flying to China for the second half of their training schedule. A tweet from the official Wolfsburg Twitter account on Sunday evening confirmed they had landed safely and arrived at their team hotel - Brazilian centre-back Naldo seemed particularly pleased with the Wolves' accommodation, as you can see below...