James Rodriguez has been absent for Bayern since rupturing a knee ligament back in November. - © Getty / Christof Stache
James Rodriguez has been absent for Bayern since rupturing a knee ligament back in November. - © Getty / Christof Stache

James Rodriguez, Corentin Tolisso and Alphonso Davies in Bayern Munich squad heading to Qatar


James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso will continue to work on their fitness in Doha, Qatar as Bayern Munich head to the Middle East on 4 January for a warm-weather training camp with new signing Alphonso Davies also among the 29-strong squad bound for the 2022 FIFA World Cup host nation.

Colombia international Rodriguez has been absent for Bayern’s past six Bundesliga matches and it will come as welcome news to the club’s supporters that the midfielder is stepping up his recovery.

Tolisso has been absent even longer, with the France midfielder sidelined since first scoring and then rupturing his cruciate ligament in Bayern’s 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen way back on Matchday 3.

Both will be aiming to return to the fold as quickly as possible and throw their substantial weight behind Bayern’s bid to retain the Bundesliga crown.

Davies, meanwhile, will hoping to further stake his claim for a debut at the earliest opportunity with the Canadian now eligible to feature in Niko Kovac’s side following his move from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Canada starlet has been training with Bayern for the past month but his deal was only officially rubber stamped at the opening of the transfer window on 1 January.

Newcomer Alphonso Davies (l.) and long-term absentee Corentin Tolisso (r.) are both in the Bayern Munich ensemble in Qatar. - 2018 Getty Images

Kovac has already said he “won’t hold back” the 18-year-old who himself has already spoken of his excitement since linking up with his new teammates.

Bayern will spend six days at Qatar’s Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, as part of their Rückrunde preparations that sees them kick-off the second-half of the season six points adrift of first-placed Borussia Dortmund.

Unlike many of Germany’s top-flight heading to warmer climes in January, Bayern will not have any friendlies as part of their Qatar schedule with Kovac more focused on polishing his team’s fitness and tactics ahead of their return to Bundesliga action.

“The lads got a little programme for the days after new year so they weren’t starting from scratch in Doha. It means they’ve already had some sort of workload,” said the Bayern coach on the eve of the club’s trip.

“We want to fine-tune a lot of things in Doha, including fitness and technical-tactical elements. And we have to begin preparing for our first opponent so we can get off to a good start at Hoffenheim.”

That match is Bayern’s first game back after the winter break, his side travelling to Sinsheim on 18 January.

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