Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti says Arjen Robben must settle for a role as a substitute for the time being as he continues his recovery from injury.
The Netherlands international scored a brilliant third goal in Wednesday’s 3-0 Bundesliga win over Hertha Berlin, a full 200 days on from his last competitive appearance.
Robben stated after the match that he was keen to be “sensible” with his involvement in the first team, in order to avoid a recurrence of the groin injury that had kept him sidelined since March.
And although Ancelotti plans to rotate his side for Saturday’s trip to Hamburg, he does not plan to include Robben in the starting line-up.
“I spoke to Robben, he’ll be on the bench for the time being,” he said. “He’ll play in the second half. [Manuel] Neuer, [Mats] Hummels and [Robert] Lewandowski will play against Hamburg.
“I will rotate things tomorrow – I’ll decide on the line-up after training. Rotations are important, from a physical and mental perspective.”
Bayern have started the campaign in style under Ancelotti, winning all seven matches, scoring 26 goals and conceding just once.
Hamburg, by contrast, have endured a dismal season so far, having claimed just one victory – a 1-0 win away to third-tier Zwickau in the DFB-Pokal in August.
Bruno Labbadia’s side have now won a league match against the reigning champions since September 2009, but Ancelotti is nonetheless wary of the danger they pose on the counter-attack.
“Hamburg will try to defend well and hurt us on the counter tomorrow. We need to be prepared for that,” he said.
“I’m sure it will be a difficult one for us. We want to start as we did against Hertha.”