Benedikt Howedes has targeted a spot in Germany’s Euro 2016 squad after returning to full training with Schalke on Tuesday.
The World Cup-winning defender has missed four months due to a thigh injury picked up during a mid-season friendly against Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
In his absence, Schalke have slipped out of the top four in the Bundesliga and face a battle with Mainz and Borussia Monchengladbach to secure a Europa league qualification place.
Howedes will be available for their final four games – starting against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday – and he hopes to quickly find form to impress Germany boss Joachim Low.
“I am in regular contact with the national coach and am confident that I could be involved in the European Championship,” he told Schalke’s official website.
“The prerequisite for this, of course, is that I am fit and in good shape.
“After nearly four months out it was a very nice feeling to be back in the pitch with the boys. That I can be involved against Bayer Leverkusen is exciting.”