Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz is on the mend following an ACL tear. - © Imago
Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz is on the mend following an ACL tear. - © Imago

Florian Wirtz comeback: Bayer Leverkusen and Germany teenager returns to light training


Florian Wirtz has stepped up his recovery from an anterior knee ligament injury by returning to light training with Bayer Leverkusen.

Wirtz became the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances last December, but the 19-year-old's season was brought to a premature conclusion in March due to an ACL tear in his left knee that required surgery.

Although still some way off a return to full team training and competitive action, Wirtz was able to take part in cardio exercises and individual ball drills at Leverkusen's pre-season training camp in Austria on Friday.

Translation: Check out who was back on the training pitch again for the first time today...

Wirtz's appearance on the training pitches comes as welcome news for Leverkusen. The former Cologne midfielder was in fine form prior to his injury, contributing to his team's eventual third-placed finish with seven goals and 10 assists across 24 Bundesliga appearances.

He also won his first four senior international caps for Germany between September and October 2021 and, if fit and firing again, should be in contention for a place in Hansi Flick's 2022 World Cup squad.

Watch: Florian Wirtz's best bits

The new season will be Wirtz's third full campaign of Bundesliga football, the teenager having debuted at just 17 in May 2020. He has 13 goals and 16 assists to show for his first 60 top-flight outings, and is widely regarded as one of the best young players Germany has ever produced.

Wirtz - who was a surprise omission from the Golden Boy shortlist after finshing among the final four in last year's vote - recently signed a contract extension with Leverkusen through to summer 2027.