A mini pre-season injury crisis prompted the former Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg, Paderborn, Duisburg and Hoffenheim custodian to reverse his decision, though, and on Matchday 15 he stepped into the void left by Sven Ulreich - injured in the warm-up at Eintracht Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena - to make his first start since May. He didn't disappoint.
Although Arturo Vidal's first-half header decided matters in Bayern's favour, Starke made a telling contribution to a win that ensures the defending champions will top the table at Christmas.
"I'm delighted to play again and to make my 100th Bundesliga appearance - I didn't think that is something that would happen after retiring," admitted Starke, who made some notable interventions to deny Frankfurt's Ante Rebic and Jetro Willems. "I only found out Sven couldn't play in the warm-up."
With Bayern hosting Cologne and visiting Stuttgart in the space of three days next week, Manuel Neuer sidelined and doubts over the fitness of Ulreich, this may not be the last we've seen of Starke...