Ilkay Gundogan is eyeing up his return for Borussia Dortmund after being sidelined for 13 months.
The 23 year-old German has been out of action due to a persistent back problem which doctors struggled to treat but two weeks ago he returned to team training.
He is currently easing back into full training after working on his fitness as part of his recovery. He is set to gain some action as part of the reserves very soon and he then hopes to work his way back into the first team following this November’s Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The former FC Nurnberg midfielder opened up about the difficulties he faced when returning to the field.
He told German news outlet, Kicker: “At first it was difficult when I took the ball, and in my back was an opponent is rushing. That was a little queasy, but now this has normalized.”
Injury set back
The controlling midfielder found it hard to cope after the winter break when he saw that there was no improvement on his condition and this ultimately forced him out of the running for Germany’s World Cup squad.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Gundogan told fellow German news outlet Bild that he had scheduled to be fit for the game against Anderlecht this week but his return has been set back further so that he doesn’t strain himself when he comes back on to the pitch.
His club rival and fellow countryman, Holger Badstuber is another player who knows too well what it is like to recover from a long injury setback only to return to the treatment table.
The Bayern Munich defender suffered a 19 month injury lay-off after tear a cruciate anterior ligament but despite making a bright start to this new campaign, the 25 year-old was forced off in their game against VfB Stuttgart with a fresh injury concern. He now needs a thigh operation.
Gundogan’s team mate, Marco Reus is also sitting on the sidelines after picking up an injury when on International duty earlier this month.
Mixed start for Dortmund
It’s a sore sight for many Borussia Dortmund fans looking at the Bundesliga table at the moment. Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently 12th having won just two of their first six games – losing games to rivals, Bayer Leverkusen (at home) and FC Schalke 04.
Despite this, Dortmund did claim the German Super Cup at the start of the season, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 and they made a confident start to their Champions League campaign when they beat Arsenal 2-0.
Perhaps when Klopp’s squad is fully mobilised and back to full fitness, we will start to see the yellow and black army charge back up the table.