Munich - Off the Ball,'s weekday feature, casts an eye over some of the offbeat and occasionally controversial tales to have emerged from Germany's top flight sides.

Today we hear of three crocked FC Bayern München stars working their way back to fitness, discover the steelier side of Hamburger SV coach Bert van Marwijk, and that the greatest German football story ever told is set to make its stage debut.

The week just gets better for FC Bayern. After Wednesday night's dramatic win at VfB Stuttgart that took them 13 points clear at the top of the table, the Bavarians can now welcome back three of their injured stars ahead of the visit of Eintracht Frankfurt. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery return following knee and muscle and complaints respectively, while midfield powerhouse Javi Martinez can finally make his long-awaited comeback after over two months out with ankle problems. Another selection headache for Pep Guardiola then.

Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek's 'carrot' to get his 1. FC Nürnberg side back to winning ways in the Bundesliga was the promise of shaving his beard, which he duly did on Matchday 18. In Hamburg, however, his compatriot Bert van Marwijk seems to favour the 'stick' approach, making it clear in no uncertain terms that he's in charge. In his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash at 1899 Hoffenheim, the 61-year-old said glaringly, "If just one player has a negative attitude, I'll throw him out." Not literally, of course.

It's 16 years since Germany won a major tournament, but as painful as the years of hurt may be, fans won't need to wait long for a fresh injection of euphoria from yesteryear, after it was revealed that 'The Miracle of Bern', an award-winning German film depicting die Nationalmannschaft's triumph against all odds at the 1954 World Cup, is being turned into a musical and is set to open in Hamburg this November. Expect thousands of Germans to take in the show, regardless of whether the current crop of talent lift a World Cup this summer!