Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is targeting an April return from his groin injury.
The Germany international has been restricted to 56 minutes of action since the mid-season break for Pep Guardiola’s side but is hopeful of playing a part in the season run-in, while proving his fitness ahead of Germany’s Euro 2016 campaign.
“My goal is to attempt to get back to training in April,” Boateng said. “It looks quite good so far but I won’t set a date and put myself under pressure.”
Boateng featured in all but one of Bayern’s matches this season before his injury against Hamburg last month, when suspension ruled him out of the second Bundesliga match of the campaign against Bayer Leverkusen.
The 27-year-old concedes his enforced time on the sidelines has been frustrating.
“It’s my first big injury. It’s difficult, because I can’t do what I love,” he said.
“First I want to stand on the pitch for Bayern this season. Of course I want to go to the Euro, but the most important thing is to stay patient.”
Boateng will hope to see his Bayern team-mates negotiate a Champions League showdown against last season’s beaten finalists Juventus – a tie he expects to be keenly contested.
“Juventus are a good team,” he added. “We have some injuries, Juve as well.
“We are strong enough to go to the quarterfinals. It will be two difficult games. We have to reach our top level.”
“After some problems at the beginning of the season Juventus are in a brilliant form, they play nice football.
“They did last season and they do this time as well. We have to pay attention, but first we have to look at ourselves – even if we know Juve’s qualities.”