Gelsenkirchen - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has received an extra special Christmas present after being told he can return to training at FC Schalke 04 with his knee showing signs of a complete recovery.
The Dutchman will fly out with the Royal Blues for their mid-season training camp in Qatar on 3 January.
Huntelaar's injury woes started in August when he tore ligaments in his right knee, ruling him out for several months. After completing the necessary physiotherapy and rehabilitation work, the Dutch forward and 2011/12 Bundesliga top goalscorer returned to action in mid-October only to suffer an immediate relapse and be ruled out once again.
He has spent the intervening time building up strength in his knee and, after an examination by renowned knee doctor Ulrich Boenisch in Augsburg, he has been given the all-clear to turn his back on the treatment room and get out onto the training field with his team mates. Schalke will be based in Qatar from 3-13 January in preparation for the second half of the season, which may now include Huntelaar.