1:56 minutes until the end of the first quarter, then it was actually time. Paul Zipser ran onto the field, his FC Bayern basketball team led 19:14 in their first game of the season against Ulm, which they ultimately won. However, Zipser’s feeling of being able to play again under the great applause of the 5303 spectators should have been greater beforehand.
At the beginning of last season, the 28-year-old still had to make sure that he didn’t fall over while running, the rehab, the first training session, it seemed like an infinitely long way back, a slow approach, with short assignments in which Zipser still like a foreign body worked in Bayern’s game. But at least he celebrated his Bundesliga comeback against Hamburg last March – 271 days after the shock.
In June 2021, Zipser underwent emergency surgery during FC Bayern’s final series against Alba Berlin because of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a benign congenital tumor. The professional survived the highly complicated and risky procedure, he also suffered no permanent damage, which was not a matter of course, in autumn 2021 he said in the FC Bayern podcast: “It was a shitty spot on the ear, on the cerebellum. There are just several centers that are responsible for different things; for me it was coordination.”
Zipser returned on shaky legs, he had also caught a pulmonary embolism after the operation. One step back, two steps forward, sometimes two steps back, that’s how you can describe your time in rehab. On basketball was unthinkable for a long time. Zipser had to relearn the game, rethink it, just the coordination was difficult for him.
Zipser contributed eight points to victory – that’s quite a success
At the same time, the 2.03 meter tall shooting guard emphasized that health is now his top priority, probably also because he is already sensitive to setbacks. In 2017, in his second NBA season with the Chicago Bulls, things didn’t go well for him, he didn’t score well and had little playing time. As it later turned out, he had suffered a stress fracture in his foot during the season, which he continued to play with because it had not been diagnosed.
So now Zipser is back, not only short assignments are planned, the native of Heidelberg should become an important player in the Bayern game again. Whether this will succeed remains to be seen. A recent statement by Bayern managing director Marko Pesic shows how difficult the time must have been for Zipser: “He will never be the player he was before the operation, but for him it’s about making the best of his opportunities close.” Zipser has signed a new three-year contract with Bayern a month after his operation.
The eight points that Zipser contributed to the unnecessarily tight 87:80 (39:39) work victory over Ulm from the point of view of Munich – including six free throws with a 100 percent quota, as well as a defensive rebound – can therefore already be considered apply to success. In a game in which Bayern suffered a 16-1 run from Ulm just before half-time, strong US Playmaker signings Cassius Winston (25 points) and Nick Weiler-Babb (18) attracted the most attention the hosts, but Zipser was most likely to give Zipser his points that night.
And they give cause for optimism. Bayern coach Andrea Trinchieri had already said on Wednesday before the Ulm game: “Paul Zipser had full preparation, he is a different player than last season, which was a season of regeneration and recovery. There are still small things missing, but we are in the last stages for his comeback.”
After Trinchieri then observed Zipser’s game against Ulm, he seemed to feel confirmed: “He was very stable, always in the right place on offense. The opponents respect him, everything is there, just a little bit of shine and speed are missing .” Paul Zipser can certainly live very well with this little analysis.