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Costa return bolsters Bayern’s treble bid

Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich’s hopes of securing a second treble in four years received a boost on Tuesday with Douglas Costa back in training after the club confirmed he does not need knee surgery.

The Brazil winger did some stability exercises at Bayern’s training ground as Carlo Ancelotti’s squad gathered after the international break.

Costa, 26, was sidelined for Bayern’s 1-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach ten days ago with what Ancelotti described as “a minor knee problem”, but it sidelined him for Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.

Last week, broadcaster Sport1 said Costa’s injury was worse than feared and may require surgery, but Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge rubbished those claims.

“An operation is not, and was never, an issue,” Rummenigge said on Monday.

“According to the team doctor, the player is fine.

“He’s doing so well that he will be back playing in the not so distant future.”

Bayern host Augsburg on Saturday in the Bavarian derby with the Munich giants 13 points clear in Germany’s top tier.

Rummenigge said Costa is unlikley to face Augsburg, but he should be available for Bayern’s Champions League quarter-final next month against Real Madrid, as well as the German Cup semi-final at home to rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern are unbeaten in their last 19 games in all competitions, dating back to last November, and have scored 29 goals in their last nine games.

Germany defender Mats Hummels says Bayern need to maintain their form against Augsburg, who are 14th and just two points from relegation, in the first of nine games Ancelotti’s side play in April.

“We have a home game, but we just want to keep our rhythm for everything which is yet to come,” said Hummels.

“So we need to start well and put our foot to the floor.”

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