Australia winger Robbie Kruse has declared he is “100 per cent fit” and is keen for a strong season after joining Stuttgart on loan.
The 26-year-old, loaned out from Bayer Leverkusen on deadline day, is desperate to put injuries behind him and remind the Bundesliga what he is capable of after two seasons marred by ligament problems in his knee and ankle.
Kruse has only managed 21 league appearances for Leverkusen since joining them prior to the 2013-14 season from Fortuna Dusseldorf but the Australia international is confident he can rediscover his best form at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The versatile attacker burst onto the scene in Germany’s top tier in 2012-13 when he played 30 matches and scored four goals for Dusseldorf.
“The past couple of years didn’t go so well, not least because I was out of action again and again,” Kruse told Stuttgart’s website.
“Now I am 100 per cent fit again.”
Kruse added: “Above all else [I’m looking forward to] playing football.
“My worst phase is behind me now and I feel fit and strong.”
Moving to Stuttgart has reunited Kruse with former Melbourne Victory team-mate Mitchell Langerak, although the latter is sidelined at the moment following minor knee surgery.
“He [Langerak] is a good friend of mine and he confirmed my decision for me,” Kruse said.
“He spoke very positively about the club, about the team and about the facilities here.
“In Leverkusen, Roberto Hilbert also told me a lot of positive things and helped make it clear that the move to VfB would be the right step for me.”
Kruse was left out of Australia’s squad to play Bangladesh and Tajikistan to allow him more time to improve his fitness after an ankle injury, suffered in the Asian Cup final, saw him miss the second half of last season.