Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel claimed it felt like Marco Reus had never been away after the Germany international returned to training this week.
Reus has been ravaged by fitness problems over recent seasons and is yet to feature this term due to a torn adductor muscle that kept him out of Euro 2016.
The 27-year-old was back with Tuchel’s squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Bundesliga basement boys Ingolstadt, although he will not be rushed back into action.
“Marco did the first training session with the team after his injury,” he said. “Coincidentally it was the public training session.
“It was his first training with the team since May so I don’t say an exact date when he will be back because we don’t want him to feel any pressure.
“Marco gets all the time that he needs. He trained yesterday as if he never left and I think it should go on like that.”
Tuchel expects to have Gonzalo Castro and Adrian Ramos back at his disposal this weekend, but Tuesday’s hard-fought 2-1 win at Sporting CP in the Champions League took its toll on his defence.
Marc Bartra, Matthias Ginter and Felix Passlack all limped out of the action with knocks during the second half, while the remaining member of Tuchel’s starting back four to complete 90 minutes – Sokratis Papastathopoulos – did not escape unscathed.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure if Sokratis can train today, he has muscular problems,” Tuchel explained, before adding playmaker Shinji Kagawa pulled out of Thursday’s practice session through illness.
The Dortmund boss expects a tough challenge from Ingolstadt as his team seek to get back on track domestically, following a paltry return of one point from matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin either side of the international break.
“Ingolstadt don’t play like a team that’s last in the league,” he said of Markus Kauczinski’s team, who have a solitary point from seven matches this season.
“They have the most turnovers in the opponent’s half. They played extraordinarily in Munich [a 3-1 defeat to Bayern in September]. They deserved to win that match.
“The games we watched they had very bad luck with the results. Their results don’t reflect their performances at all.
“So I expect a very intense match with a very brave opponent. It is a big exercise for us that we have to solve if we want to win there.”
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