Stuttgart goalkeeper Mitch Langerak is back training and looking to return to the field after the Bundesliga resumes following the winter break in January.
Langerak joined Stuttgart from Borussia Dortmund during the off-season but the Australia international is yet to make his debut due to knee and thigh injuries.
The 27-year-old is combining training with ongoing rehabilitation work and extra sessions to fast-track his return to the Stuttgart squad, who are now being led by Jurgen Kramny on a permanent basis after he was promoted on Sunday.
“I’ve been back in team training since mid-December as well as working through my rehabilitation,” Langerak told www.socceroos.com.au.
“I’m training more at this point then I ever have because doing rehab plus team training plus my own individual treatment is hard and definitely nowhere near as easy as [when] being fit.
“It’s been a very challenging time as it is my first major injury and to have back-to-back serious injuries after joining a new club is tough for any player.
“Injuries are something all footballers must go through and for me to suffer my first one now is something I am learning from.
“Things are moving along well and I’m hoping to be available after the winter break or in early January.”
Langerak also paid tribute to his new club, who lured the Socceroo to Mercedes-Benz Arena after five seasons with Dortmund.
“I’m really loving being at Stuttgart, a massive club with a lot of traditions,” he said.
“The club’s facilities and rehab centre are world class which gives me a great environment to progress and succeed here.
“I’m strongly focussed on getting fit so I can repay the club for their investment and belief in me.”
Langerak also hopes for a return to the Socceroos squad ahead of the next two World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan in March.
“It has been very difficult watching the Socceroos from afar but it’s great to see the boys getting some wins and playing good football,” Langerak added.
“My injury is just another chance for the boss to build more depth in the entire squad but I’m looking forward to getting back into camp once I’m back to full fitness.”